Reflection: Diverse Entry Points People Who Changed the World Day 1 of 3 - Section 4: Exploring the Text Features of a Biography


To explore the three text features: table of contents, glossary, and the index, I provided them with informational text they could read. To make this happen, I pulled books from our school library as well as our own book bins. This takes time, so make sure you plan ahead.

I separated the reading of the text and the exploration of the text features because I didn't want to overwhelm my students. We are moving away from routinely working in our anthology to working with individuals titles. So I wanted them to be successful with this transition, and so I break the tasks down accordingly.

I gave them three text features to focus on. They are most familiar with the table of contents, and I intentionally chose it to help build on existing knowledge. And, even though, it's a familiar text feature, it didn't mean they could find it on their own yet.

Before exploring the features, we reviewed them. They were aware of what they were looking for. Many of them needed redirection, additional explanation, and help finding these text features in their book. I can understand why.

In retrospect, I would not do this separate section on text features in this lesson. Hindsight is 20/20. And, after reading their biographies, with the question, "how did your person change the world?," I would just have them answer the question in their journal with evidence from the text.

I would leave this exploration of these three features for another lesson, another day. After exploring these three features, I would have them respond in their literature with another question that asked them to provide evidence.

I know I wanted them to look at the table of contents to help them notice how the different chapters give us clues as to what topics will be covered about that person, and that is important, but this would have been better left for another day.

  Diverse Entry Points: Reflecting on Exploring Text Features
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People Who Changed the World Day 1 of 3

Unit 12: Biographies
Lesson 2 of 5

Objective: SWBAT identify and use the text features of informational text.

Big Idea: Informational text is designed differently! Today students will dive into the structure of texts about courageous people.

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