My class will begin reading Chains in January. There are a couple of things I think about, one the genre is Historical Fiction and two, it will be the longest book students have read so far during the school year. I know from past experience that the length of the book will, at first, intimidate them. In order to help them understand the genre, my 5th grade colleague, Kathryn Oswood, made up a template for us to include in our reading packets. The template helps students to compare and contrast realistic fiction to historical fiction. Below is a sample of the completed template. We give students a blank template and we try to complete as much as we can together. I also use the genre posters Sarah developed to hang in my room, so students have a quick reference tool to use whenever they need it.