Easel by TpT
Seamlessly assign resources as digital activities

Learn how in 5 minutes with a tutorial resource. Try it Now  

Expository, Non-Fiction Lesson on Modern Issues: Benefits of Slacking Off?

Laura Randazzo
Grade Levels
9th - 12th, Higher Education, Adult Education, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
5-page PDF
Share this resource
Laura Randazzo


The Common Core has a much-greater focus on non-fiction, informational texts in the English/Language Arts classroom. It’s time to start adding more real-world articles and materials to our literary canon. In this easy-to-deliver narrative non-fiction activity, students will read an article by New York Times acclaimed columnist Tim Kreider (link included) and complete a series of deep-thinking questions. Afterward, students will definitely have personal anecdotes and opinions to share about this “Let’s Get Real” classroom activity.

When your principal asks what you’ve done to align your classroom with the Common Core, just point to this non-fiction, expository-based work as an example. This 45-minute lesson will give students a high-quality article to analyze as they make connections between the work and their own lives.

The article presents a compelling argument against the frenetic pace of “busyness” in today’s world and the text-based questions about Kreider’s writing will engage your students and get them thinking about the deeper questions raised by the author.

Begin with a reading of the article (either aloud or solo), have individuals write their answers to the multi-layered depth-of-knowledge questions (either in teams of two or solo), and then launch a class discussion.

The package includes an option for 9th and 10th graders and separate questions for 11th and 12th graders. The article is the same for both groups, but the reflection questions are different, so that various levels of students will find the activity stimulating and challenging. Advanced middle school students should be able to successfully work with the “Level 1” questions, too.

Both sets of questions come with detailed answer keys, of course. You might also want to use the two separate question sheets for differentiated questions within one class.

It usually takes my students 45 minutes to work through the article and give thorough answers to the questions. If you need to extend the lesson, you also could launch a discussion of the issues raised in the article. Your students will have plenty of real-life examples from their own worlds to illustrate Kreider’s points.

These full-class, stand-alone materials also work great as emergency plans for substitute teachers. The material is easy to deliver and the kids will need to work hard for the whole period to finish on time.

Want a similar assignment with a different topic? You can look through all of my non-fiction lessons here:


Thanks for stopping by!

Total Pages
5-page PDF
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
45 minutes
Report this Resource to TpT
Reported resources will be reviewed by our team. Report this resource to let us know if this resource violates TpT’s content guidelines.


to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
By the end of grade 11, read and comprehend literary nonfiction in the grades 11-CCR text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at the high end of the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.
Determine an author’s point of view or purpose in a text in which the rhetoric is particularly effective, analyzing how style and content contribute to the power, persuasiveness, or beauty of the text.
Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his or her exposition or argument, including whether the structure makes points clear, convincing, and engaging.
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term or terms over the course of a text (e.g., how Madison defines faction in Federalist No. 10).
Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text.


Questions & Answers

Teachers Pay Teachers is an online marketplace where teachers buy and sell original educational materials.

More About Us

Keep in Touch!

Sign Up