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Thursday, September 13, 2012

Nonfiction Text Features

As an intervention teacher I work with a variety of grades in small groups.  With these lessons, I tried to work with grades 3-5 on the elements of nonfiction. The activities remain similar, but the texts are at the appropriate levels for the students in each group. To preassess, I had students brainstorm a list of nonfiction elements they knew. I wanted to see what I was working with. Then, I shared my anchor chart with the students:

I chose to focus on heading, table of contents, bold print, captions, diagrams, index, and glossary for the anchor chart. I took a picture of the anchor charts and students put them in their reader's notebooks. Now the chart is there for future reference. The graphics for the chart came from:

To begin with, each grade level read a short nonfiction article. One of my favorite places to find articles is: Hopefully your school has a username and password! My fifth graders read a Scholastic News article about telepresence robots used in schools. The fourth grade group read a different Scholastic News article about robots designed with animal characteristics. My third graders read a Scholastic News article about the metamorphosis of frogs. With each article we began with an overall question to guide our reading. For example: What are telepresence robots and how are they being used in schools? We recorded this question in our reader's notebooks and drafted a response together when we had completed the reading. Once finished, we went back into our articles and found examples of the different nonfiction text features and cut/pasted them in our  nonfiction text feature books. (found at:

The pages include the name of the nonfiction text feature, an example, and a written description of the text feature. These text features and explanations match the anchor chart. Once finished, we continued working on the nonfiction text feature books using leveled books from the book room.

1 comment:

  1. I am doing the same lesson on nonfiction text features with my first graders! This will be great. Thanks!


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