Giraffes and Foxes

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SWBAT understand how text features provide important information about a topic.

Big Idea

This lesson has some awesome pictures and is full of interesting facts that will keep the class motivated for a long time.


10 minutes

Common Core Connection

In this lesson, I approach RI1.5 by analyzing the author's reasons for laying out the text the way they did. I look at how they used captions, heading, and subheading to present the information. I do realize that RI1.5 states that students should know glossary, headings, table of contents, electronic menus, and icons.  I choose to extend this unit, starting with this lesson, to the second grade standard and include captions and subheadings because we are at the end of the year. I want my students to realize that authors use all of these text features to add to the information in the text.

Lesson Overview

We create a graphic organizer together analyzing the text features in an article on Foxes. Before you do that with your students, be sure to let the class see the pictures so they can get to ooh and ahh because Arctic Foxes are breathtaking.  Then the students create a Caption, Bold Word, Headings Chart analyzing the text features in a text from Giraffe.

The students work with Peanut Butter Jelly Partners throughout the lesson, but they do Transitions several times to keep their minds fresh.  I have a video on both of these strategies in the resource section.

Introductory Activity

The full image on the PowerPoint of the fox with the many orange captions is displayed on the board. It is in the PowerPoint and I ask the students to discuss why the author chose to use the text feature of captions.  I am just trying to get the class thinking about text features and the author's craft.  But, the image is so interesting the students probably will just want to talk about foxes.  While they are talking and becoming excited about the lesson I assess their knowledge by listening to their conversations.

Then I share the lesson plan because I find my students appreciate knowing what is going to happen in our lesson. Plus, it helps them visualize learning the material, which can aid in retention and success.  Right before we move into the next section, we chant the lesson goal just to focus the class on the goal.

Guided Practice

20 minutes

Partner Work

20 minutes


5 minutes