The Value of Text Features

52 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT identify text features and their purpose in an informational piece.

Big Idea

A text feature is "worth a thousand words".

Warm Up

10 minutes

Students will enter the room and per directions on their daily agenda log into Tween Tribune.  They will be responsible for today's Daily Quiz.  My purpose with this is both to challenge the students to read new articles and help students become more familiar with the site before we begin commenting. Additionally, they beg to check out this site students begging to read articles!  HELLO! Of course I'm going to plug into that!

Lesson/Independent Work

45 minutes

Begin the attached Non Fiction Text Powerpoint .  For today's lesson, follow the instructions/conversation outlined on slides 1-15 (through the text features discussion). Since I have laptops in the classroom and utilize blended learning, I link any resource electronically to my students' Edmodo classroom.  If you do not have this capability, I suggest printing "handout" copies of the powerpoint with 6 slides per page so students can have a copy to refer to when needed. 

A few notes -

Follow this link to the primary/secondary sources activity mentioned in the Powerpoint (Note -I've used this activity for several years and always find that it stirs up good conversation while reviewing what they have covered in social studies already. The key is also on the site.)

Any brief introductory piece can work with today's lesson, but I use "The Country Doubles It's Size" to practice actually marking text features independently.  "The Country Doubles It's Size" is taken from a Scholastic Professional Publication -Teaching Students to Read Nonfiction.  I also like the examples used on this website to walk students through.

After completing the section of the powerpoint, return and review the "Malala the Powerful" questions/answers from a lesson a few days ago.   Have students take the article out of the caddy again to discuss the text features and how they help in answering those questions.

We'll look at the first question together.  Then, students will work in groups to literally annotate their copy of the multiple choice and short answer questions (which have been graded) to show the connection between the text features and locating correct information.  The last few minutes will be used to bring it together and have groups share. I will facilitate with the questions and article on the SMART board.

Wrap Up

5 minutes

To close class today, I will challenge students to consider what their text books or materials for Science and Social Studies would be like without text features.

At this point, I always discuss Science concepts like the cell and how I remember having to draw a cell when I was in school.  They can always relate and we discuss the value of the diagrams and pictures available.  We also discuss how maps, pictures, etc. in all classes ensure that all students have the same visual when learning a concept instead of a variety of thoughts/images in their mind.  When we all see the same thing it makes teaching and learning the concept unified and simpler.  

My goal is that they leave with a new appreciation for those text features that they never really considered before.