Text Features and Author's Purpose

7th - 12th

How do the text features support the purpose of the text? Help your class study different text features by providing them with this resource. Using the graphic organizer, readers will scan a text, searching for text features. 

Resource Details

Intermediate Guided Reading Lesson: Remarkable Rocks

Investigate rocks and non-fiction reading strategies. The class observes and sorts rocks, and then identifies non-fiction text features in Remarkable Rocks. Given strips of paper labeled with headings from the table of contents, pupils read the book independently and place the labels over corresponding text. They take notes on one book section and share what they learned with the group.

Text Features: Introduction to the Iroquois: The Six Nations Confederacy

Model for young readers how charts, graphs, diagrams etc., can help them interpret information found in nonfiction text.  Chapter 1 of The Iroquois: The Six Nations Confederacy provides the opportunity for direct instruction and guided practice exercises. Learners identify text features that help them understand the central message, use context clues to figure out the meaning of unfamiliar words, and practice their close reading skills. Although the introductory lesson of the second unit in a series of units focused on the Iroquois and the Six Nation Confederacy, the approach to interpreting informational text could be used with any nonfiction.

Using Informational Text Features and Learning Freaky Frog Vocabulary

What kind of text features help children build a strong vocabulary? According to this lesson, headers, pictures, and the glossary will accomplish this task. The class uses text features such as headers to unpack new vocabulary words. They create vocabulary journals in which they will write what they think the definition of each new word is. The next day, the teacher will go through the journals to determine which words the children should focus on. While the lesson is very well written and includes three worksheets, it is lacking in scope. 

Using Non-Text Features

Second graders examine graphs and charts from their local newspaper. As a class, they discuss what the data means and how it relates to the article. In groups, they are shown two sets of graphs or charts and they practice explaining what they believe the data is trying to show. To end the activity, they write complete sentences about the data in a chart.

Determining Main Idea Using Text and Illustrations: Accessing Books Around the World

Ease into informational text with the lesson suggested here. Part of a unit series, the lesson draws from previous lessons and acts as a natural moment to add in informational text. Class members read one section of My Librarian is a Camel by Margriet Ruurs and determine the main idea of that section. You will need to purchase or find a copy of the text in order to teach this lesson.

Guided Reading with Elizabeti's Doll

Practice reading strategies using Elizabeti's Doll by Stephanie Stuve-Bodeen. Readers utilize decoding and comprehension strategies before, during, and after reading the story. A detailed list of text features, high frequency words, possible related phonics skills, and comprehension questions are included.

Informational Text Features 

How can you tell if the text you're reading is informational or narrative? Show your reading class this basic PowerPoint to illustrate the characteristics of an informational text. What makes this presentation especially effective is that it uses grade-level texts, charts, and graphics to help assess the viewers. 

Lesson 4: Text Features

The ability to use text features effectively can translate to many texts and purposes. Show your class these tools while working with the biography Lost Star: The Story of Amelia Earhart. Explore the different text features within the biography and use them to help answer comprehension questions. This instructional activity will make readers look back into the text to find information and improve understanding of the purpose of text features. Sign up for a free account to view the materials.

Text Features

Fifth graders utilize text features. In this text features lesson students read The Story of Jackie Robinson: Bravest Man in Baseball by Margaret Davidson. Students use clues from the table of contents, illustrations, and timeline to answer questions.

Investigating Animals Through Non-Fiction Text

Conduct a shared reading activity with a non-fiction animal book. Young researchers identify the various text features in informational texts, complete a graphic organizer to compare and contrast text feature purposes, and finally choose their own animal to research as a follow-up activity.

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