Monday, January 26, 2015

Non Fiction Text Features

I'm super excited to share a sequence of lessons that I co-taught with our amazing reading teacher at my school! We were working on nonfiction text features...

We called each of the lessons a "mission" so here's Mission 1...

The kiddos were read the Mission 1 sheet that is in my TPT product (click product image above). It basically told the kiddos that they would work in groups to go on a scavenger hunt and create a nonfiction text feature poster.

We had 5 groups of 3-4 kiddos and myself and our reading teacher walked around, talking to the kiddos about what they were noticing.

Some of the kiddos were super insightful saying they found lots of headings because there were so many different articles or that they noticed that almost all the photographs had captions. There was also a lot of discussion about the nonfiction text features they couldn't find and why.

They loved the freedom they were given to explore nonfiction text features. Their finished products were pretty great too!

Mission 2

For mission 2, we gave the kiddos 1-page articles with all the nonfiction text features blocked out. I used Times for Kids articles, but you could use anything that is short. You could even retype the article if that was easier.

The kiddos' job was to figure out what they thought was missing which led to a discussion about WHY they thought these text features would be important.
After this mission we had a class discussion about how each of the text features would help the reader and I revealed the original articles to the pairs.

Mission 3

For our last mission, which I used as an activity AND an assessment for nonfiction text features, consisted of kiddos looking for nonfiction text features and explaining why they are important. Each kiddo picked out a nonfiction text, and recorded 4 nonfiction text features they found and why that text feature was important.

Students then paired off and shared what they thought about the nonfiction text features. I loved how when they got to the sharing part that many of the groups actually went into the text to talk about the text features they chose.

The kiddos had a lot of fun with these "missions" and it really helped them to learn the nonfiction text features. The only other suggestion I have that I think helped the kiddos a lot is that I've had them give me a thumbs up during every nonfiction read aloud when they saw a nonfiction text feature. I would stop after every page or so and call on a student with their thumbs up and ask him or her to explain how that text feature helped us as readers.

I hope you can use one or more of these ideas to teach nonfiction text features in your classroom!

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