Reaching the Summit: Mountains and Nonfiction Text Features (Left Side)

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SWBAT name and describe the jobs of nonfiction text features in the story Mountains by Seymour Simon.

Big Idea

Students need to know what nonfiction text features are and how to use them to help them understand the text.

Base Camp: Giving the Pretest

10 minutes

I begin this class by telling students that today they will take a pretest about nonfiction text features.  They immediately begin to protest but I tell them that a pretest is only to find out what they already know.  Why would I want to teach them stuff if they already know it?  I tell them that if anyone "tests out" of this topic, they get to do 5th grade level work with nonfiction text features.  I also told them that I wasn't sharing the results with anyone but them and me. That seemed to calm their fears.

I hand out the pretests and give them 10 or so minutes to complete it.  

The Face of the Mountain: Looking at Nonfiction Text Features

30 minutes

After the students finish their pretests, I collect them and flip through them to get a quick gauge of what students know.  My students didn't get many of the questions correct, so, we start at the beginning.

I tell the students to take out their reading Interactive Student Notebooks and turn to the next two page spread.  I hand out the left side printable for them to glue in.  

After all the students have trimmed and glued, I display the Nonfiction Text Features chart under the Elmo and instruct students to open their copy of Mountains and their social studies text books (any text book will do).  We are going to use the books to have a scavenger hunt for each text feature.  First, though, we talk about each text feature's job.  I have the students write what each text feature does in the box and then instruct them to find that text feature in either of the books.

The students love this part.  I use a random name generator but you could use whatever means you have to choose a student to report where they found the text feature I called out.  We give that student a hearty cheer and move on to the next text feature and so on and so forth until all the text features have been defined and found.

At the Summit: Exit Ticket

5 minutes

At the end of class, I hand out the exit ticket for students to complete.  This question is the same question that was at the bottom of their pretest, but after the introductory activity, the students have a bit more knowledge to draw from.