February 1, 2014
Speaking of that, those nonfiction text features have a huge part in the comprehension of advanced texts, don’t they?
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.
So I decided to turn to our science text which is chock-full of important text feature visuals…especially in the section on ecosystems.
I then asked my students our Essential Question for the lesson:
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.
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:
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!
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.