Thursday, October 20, 2011

Teaching Text Features

As we dive into 2nd quarter my reading instruction is now full of non-fiction. Most of our reading objectives for the quarter deal with non-fiction. While my second graders usually know what non-fiction is and how it is different from fiction, they often don't understand most of the conventions, text features, and how to retell. So we spend a LOT of time in our minilessons learning all we can about non-fiction.

I've started out by introducing text features. I had an old poster that had a list of non-fiction text features on them in marker lettering. It wasn't fancy but it worked for the time being. As I started out this year's unit I couldn't seem to find that poster. I searched high and low in my carts but couldn't find it. So this morning during arrival I decided to make another one. Somehow this is what I ended up with:
I think it turned out pretty good! It's much more colorful and interactive than the old one and I included actual examples of some of the features from magazines. I enjoyed adding the colors and making it fun. I see anchor charts all over blogs and Pinterest that are so fun and to be honest I usually don't have the time or skill to make mine look that good. But this may be a stepping stone to livening up my anchor charts!

I made sure to include "why" author's use text features. Some older grades teachers have told us that their students may be able to identify text features but do not know why they are put in a book or text.

Of course, there's a major emphasis on USING text features to help students understand what they are reading. It's a strategy after all!

While I'm on the subject of non-fiction I have to give a shout out to Beth Newingham and her post on teaching non-fiction. I love her text feature books that the kids make with magazines. I made them with last year's class and will be pulling them out again soon! I also printed all of the posters to post near our carpet area.


  1. Hi Julie,
    I can't get your button to work on my website. I think there is something wrong where it says Let me know if you get it working and I'll add you to my blog roll. Come on over to my blog to check out my new giveaway! Thanks!

  2. Love this and your blog!

  3. Thanks so much for sharing your ideas!!

  4. So glad I found the original source of this- you did a great job! I found your chart on Pinterest a while ago and used it to make one in my classroom: Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. I love your poster. I will try to make one today... we have a performance task next week (practice one for our district) and it seems to focus on text features. This poster will solidify what we have been learning all year about text features. Thanks.