Speaking of that, those nonfiction text features have a huge part in the comprehension of advanced texts, don’t they?
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.
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:
(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.
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:
We then took some time to reflect on the experience and what it meant to us as readers.
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!
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.
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.
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!! 🙂