Utilizing Those Nonfiction Text Features (file to share)

February 1, 2014

Utilizing Those Nonfiction Text Features (file to share)

February 1, 2014
 photo nonfictionfeatures1.png

We are deep into our nonfiction units in both Reader’s and Writer’s Workshop. In Writer’s, my students will eventually create their own informational text. In Reader’s, it’s all about reading and comprehending a variety of nonfiction texts.

Speaking of that, those nonfiction text features have a huge part in the comprehension of advanced texts, don’t they?

featuring…features!

Well, not so much maybe.

My 5th graders know them all by name, they know their various purposes within a text. But were they always utilizing nonfiction text features for information?

I wasn’t so sure after a recent benchmark assessment.

Student after student read fluently through the running record book…but completely gliding past numerous charts, diagrams, and captions, all carefully designed to support their comprehension.

vital visuals

So I decided to turn to our science text which is chock-full of important text feature visuals…especially in the section on ecosystems.

 photo nonfictionfeatures12.png 
This section was actually perfect for such an activity, as the features are key in understanding consumers, producers, decomposers, food pyramids, and so many other terms the students must learn.
I photocopied selections from the chapter, then blocked out all of the regular text, leaving all of the text features alone on the page:

 photo nonfictionfeatures10.png
I then asked my students our Essential Question for the lesson:

how do nonfiction text features help with our comprehension of informational texts?


(nothing better than the combination of Reading and Science, right?)

After a quick discussion of what we already knew about this question, I handed my students the text-less (new word for you!) chapter selection along with a graphic organizer.

I asked the students to find as many facts from the nonfiction text features as they could and record them in the organizer.
  photo nonfictionfeatures9.png
My 5th graders got to work, highlighting and recording all those facts. I watched them study the pictures and captions very closely, sharing out what they discovered with their teammates.

As they recorded facts, students also demonstrated facts they had already known versus new information:

 photo nonfictionfeatures11.png 
(I’m sure you can guess which column had more checks, as was the intent!)

Then we shared out and recorded facts we had discovered on a chart. There were quite a few facts we had learned, and all of this information came before we had even read the chapter! (can you hear me exclaiming this to my class?)

what does this mean to us as readers 
of nonfiction texts?

We then took some time to reflect on the experience and what it meant to us as readers.
 photo nonfictionfeatures3.png 
I have learned from my dear friend Jen over at Runde’s Room the immense value of reflecting over everything we do in class, so I knew this would be an important closing to our activity. (thank you Jen, I can’t tell you enough how you helped me evolve my practice!!!)
 photo nonfictionfeatures6.png 
My students realized how much information could be gained from the text features and were able to share this nicely in their reflections.

And, as an added bonus, it turned out to be a wonderful frontloading activity for Science, as we hadn’t even read the chapter yet! 

features in the future

In our reading groups, my students now take the time to look all over
the page at the various features, remarking on their findings before
reading a particular selection.

And to help continue this practice of utilizing features for information and comprehension, we continue to examine and identify our learning from text features across all subject areas. 

would you like to try this? 

I designed the graphic organizer used with my students to be pretty general, in hopes some of you may be able to use this as well.
If you would like to download this file, please click on the image below:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2ARzMSbNzXNRFJNb2hqNkl4b1E/edit?usp=sharing
facebook friends?

Before I dash off to plan for the week (don’t be impressed, I’m bound to get distracted by something more pressing!) I did want to say I’ve been making a concentrated effort to share happenings in our classroom on Facebook, since I’ve been such a intermittent blogger this year. I would love to see you there if you would like to follow!! 🙂

Thanks for visiting, I hope you can use the file!

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Instagram

  • Ok, I learned something else new in google docs that I LOVE...even more than default margins!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀You can set a default font!!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀So I tend to go with Century Gothic for everything in class...usually paired with a bold font for headings (Oswald is my favorite!). But every time I start a new doc, I have to take the time to make these font changes.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Well, it turns out you can set a default font (and color) of your choice in two simple steps! It can only be one font...but at least it will save some time!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Here are the steps:⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀First, open a new doc and type a word with the font/color combo you would like as your default font. Highlight the text you just typed.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Then, go to Format > Paragraph Styles > Normal Text > Update 'Normal text' to match.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Then go back to the Format menu and choose Paragraph Styles > Options > Save as my default styles. (Swipe to see pics of all these steps if you prefer a visual!).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀And that's it! Now when you open a new google doc, you will see your favorite font, all ready for you to start designing!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀#googledocs #googledrive #technologyintheclassroom #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456 #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
  • Did you know that you can set default margins in Google Docs? I never realized until the other day!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀It drives me CRAZY when I open up a new doc and there's all that extra space at the top! I'm constantly reconfiguring the margins when I make a new doc. But it turns out you can set your favorite margin settings (because everyone has favorite margin settings, right?) and set it as a default.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀And it’s very easy to do!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Go to File, then Page Setup. Enter the margins you would like, then click the "Set as Default" button.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀And that's it!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Your next docs will open with this new setting from now on! Such a time-saver!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀(Am I the only one who didn't know this?) 😂⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀#googledocs #googledrive #technologyintheclassroom #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456 #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
  • "This is so fun!" I got to hear some of my favorite words over and over during math today. And it was all thanks to  @adventuresofmssmith_ and @teachinginroom6!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀These clever ladies shared an awesome idea for solving some mundane math problems (multi-digit multiplication and long division review for us today) while building index card towers!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀And the setup was so easy.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀I made 30 review problems and numbered the cards. Then I highlighted the cards with a quick swipe to color code them (thanks to @teachinginroom6 for the color-coding idea!). The simpler problems were pink and could earn one index card when solved correctly. The more complex problems were yellow and could earn two index cards...and the most difficult problems were green and worth three index cards.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀My students worked in small groups and showed me their cards as they solved them. Some showed a couple of cards at a time, others solved everything first before "cashing in" (as they called it 😂).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀They were completely engaged and working as teams for the whole math block...it was great! And they are already asking when we can do this again.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀#math #iteachmath #multiplication #division #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456 #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
  • How many field trips does your class go on each year?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀We go on four (five some years 😬) and field trip season is just starting up now!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀I like to keep a checklist of our different trips to keep track of forms, money, and chaperones. I color-code each trip with a different flair pen if the trips are back-to-back (we are visiting our state capital this week and heading to the ymca for water safety next week!).⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀This checklist is from my Instant Checklists resource...it has a hundred lists, ready to go, just enter your students’ names once. Please click the link in my profile if you’d like to see more! (http://bit.ly/instantchecklists)⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀Are you going on a field trip soon?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀#classroommanagement #classroomorganization #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456 #tpt #teacherspayteachers #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
  • I have lost my tv remote about 45,000 times this year. I think it’s due to my compulsive paper stacking tendencies.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀But I found a solution!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀I got this awesome desktop organizer to hold my remote (and flair pens, phone, stickies, nurse notes...all of the important things!) I found it on Amazon...it’s a STORi desktop organizer and I ❤️ it!!⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀#tryingtostayorganized #classroomorganization #iteachfourth #iteach4th #iteach456 #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram
  • One of our favorite seating areas...also known as the place I like to eat lunch every day when my students are in the cafeteria 😂⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀The chairs and table were donated to our class. Both are by Flash Furniture on Amazon.⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀This is the first year I’ve had a cafe height table and we love it!! Do you have a cafe table in class?⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀#flexibleseating #classroomdecor #iteachfourth #iteach456 #iteach4th #teachersfollowteachers #teachersofinstagram

Follow @ladybugsteacherfiles

×