Introducing Text Features Using Biographies

6 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT identify text features in non-fiction books and how they are helpful.

Big Idea

Today we will be using biography books to identify text features.


Introduction to Text Features

10 minutes

The CCSS have emphasized the use of non-fiction texts.  I feel it is important for students to understand that with non-fiction books, it is not always necessary to read the entire book if we are looking for a specific piece of information.  Text features can help us find the information we are looking for.  Text features can also be helpful in helping us better understand the content.  Today's lesson will take a look at the many text features that can be found in some non-fiction pieces.  As we continue with this biography unit, I will continue to point out text features as we come across them in the texts we read.

Today we will be focusing on text features of nonfiction texts.  To start us off, I will show the class this fun non-fiction rap put together by a group of students and their teacher.

Text Features Lesson

15 minutes

I found a great chart that is available for free on that shows the many text features used in non-fiction text.  The chart can be found HERE.  It is actually a friend of mine who made the chart.  I will project the chart onto the smart-board and walk through the book "Marc Brown" by Mae Woods with the students.  I found that many (though not all) of the text features are found in this book.  As we discuss each text feature I will show the students where that feature is typically found and what it looks like.  For those features not found in the biography I have chosen to use for my example, I will have the students search their biographies to see if they can find that feature in their book.

Woods, M. (2001). Marc Brown. Edina, MN : ABDO Publishing Company

Text Features Activity

20 minutes

Now the kids get to search their own biography books, which we checked out from the library yesterday, for text features!  I will have the students go down the checklist and mark which features are found in their books.  If they find a feature, they need to write where in the book they found that feature and how that feature is helpful to a reader.  Hopefully by doing this, students will become more familiar with text features and how they can be used to help a reader find information.