Nonfiction Text Features Mastered in 5 Easy Steps - Simply Skilled in Second

Mastering Nonfiction Text Features in 5 Easy Steps

I love teaching Nonfiction Text Features… actually… I love using nonfiction texts in my classroom.  I love learning facts that I actually didn’t know about and I love when my kiddos learn something new and I can actually see it in their faces!

Mastering Nonfiction Text Features
I wanted to share with you HOW I teach Nonfiction Text Features in my classroom.  I tend to mix things up from year to year with the activities that I use in my classroom because I don’t like to use the same things over and over again.. Remember.. I have been teaching 2nd grade for 22 years… Umm… yep… 22 years… so a girl’s gotta keep it fresh.. KWIM (that means.. “know what I mean”.. I needed to ask my niece what that meant.. so yes.. I am old!)  I digress….
This Nonfiction Text Features Flip Flap Book is engaging and fun. Your students will master this skill in no time using this tool!
So here is my plan for Mastering
Nonfiction Text Features in 5 Easy Steps in…
I begin with whole group instruction by reading them one of our big books that incorporates many different text features. I point out the features and ask them to describe the feature.  I write their descriptions down on the chart paper.  If they know what the text feature is called, I write it on our chart paper.  If they don’t, I will tell them what it is called. Then we have a discussion on how the specific text feature helps us and I will jot down their answers.
I don’t have a picture of the chart that I made…. because.. umm.. well.. it isn’t pretty!  You know those pretty anchor charts you see all over Pinterest.. yep.. that’s not me… nope! And I have come to grips with it! 🙂 Ok? 🙂  LOL
This part of the lesson lasts about 15 minutes.
Here is an anchor chart that I found on Pinterest that I think looks great and has an organized presentation of the text features…
nonfiction text features
Unfortunately, the Pinterest link that I found was a dead link 🙁 If you know who this anchor chart belongs to,
please let me know in the comments so that I can credit them with this awesome chart!!
Then we move into…
My kiddos need to move.. and talk.. and move.. and talk.. yep…that’s my class this year so I go with it.  I usually will put them into groups of 3 or 4 students right on the carpet and they make little circles.  I put a basket of nonfiction books in the middle of each circle and give each group a different colored pad of post-it notes and they begin their scavenger hunt trying to find different text features. They have to find a text feature, show their group, name the text feature, and add the post it note to the page sticking out of the book.  I give them about 10 minutes to do this and I walk around to each group on the carpet to help with any misconceptions I may hear or if there are any issues with the group. After 10 minutes I have each group share 2 or 3 text features they
found and show the page to the class.
The books that I have pictured in the image below are
for teaching nonfiction text features. Check them out on
Scholastic. They are called Smart Word Readers.

nonfiction tex features
After our guided practice, we move on to…
This is where my students will practice finding different text features independently (or with a partner if your students need more support).  Last year, I used a worksheet (eeek!) to allow them to find nonfiction text features in books and write the book, the text feature, the page, and how it helped them.  I am NOT a worksheet teacher.. although they do have their place in the classroom! I like our activities to be fun, engaging, pleasant to look at, and most of all, I want my students to be proud of their work and the finished product when they are done. A simple worksheet very rarely gives them that feeling of accomplishment and pride.
This year, they will be completing my
Nonfiction Text Features Flip Flap Book!
 Nonfiction Text Features Flip Flap Book
I am so excited to use this book with them this year!
This flip flap book incorporates 13 different Nonfiction Text Features that the students will label and display in the flip flap book; then they go on a scavenger hunt (just like they did on the carpet…yep.. now they know how to do it!) trying to find that specific text feature in a book. This flip flap book will take two class periods to complete. We have done many flip flap books, so I no longer need to explain how to actually assemble the books, because they have done them before. However, if you decide to do this with your kiddos, expect to use three class periods if they haven’t had experience with my flip flap books before.

When we complete our Flip Flap Books, I take about 10-15 minutes one or two mornings, and I put my students in groups of 3 or 4 students. We do something I call “Share 3” where they share what they made (their flip flap book), something they learned, and something that was either confusing or they want to learn.

  After teaching a skill whole group, I always revisit the topic within my Guided Reading groups as well. After teaching Nonfiction Text Features as a whole group lesson and having the students complete the flip flap book, we will review these concepts again using our mini-readers that are part of our reading series.
I use my
I Spy Nonfiction Text Features 
iPad accordion book to review this skill with each of my
guided reading groups that will be added to our
Guided Reading Lapbook.

 Guided Reading Flip Flaps for Interactive Notebooks

So… there it is in a nutshell.  These are my
5 Steps for Mastering Nonfiction Text Features.

Comment below with something that you do to teach
Nonfiction Text Features.  I would love to know!
If you are interested in any of these activities above, please click the images to check them out in my TPT Shop 🙂

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Anna D.

1 thought on “Mastering Nonfiction Text Features in 5 Easy Steps”

  1. Kathleen Ekbom

    I accidentally signed up with wrong email this is correct! The other I put the letter a Kaekbom and it was suppose to be! Thanks for sharing your great nonfiction ideas for instruction! I’m 4th Grade!

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I'm Anna DiGilio

Hi, I'm Anna! I was a primary teacher for over twenty-three years, wife of a firefighter, mother of twin teenage boys, obsessed with being creative and helping teachers and love my Saturday morning quiet cup of coffee!
Thanks for stopping by!



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Hi, I'm Anna! I was a primary teacher for over twenty-three years, wife of a firefighter, mother of twin teenage boys, obsessed with being creative and helping teachers and love my Saturday morning quiet cup of coffee!
Thanks for stopping by!

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