Before Reading: Before taking any more steps with my students in the teaching of nonficiton text structures, we spent some time reviewing their independent work (you can view the assignment in Part 1-at the end).
I also created a nonfiction text structure matching game for my students to match up (with support, if needed). The picture above shows you what the upper elementary matching sort looks like, but the download also includes one for lower elementary students.
My goal now was to show my students how they could use nonfiction text features to determine what was important from the text.
My first focus was on subtitles/titles and their purpose. The text I used was Balloons by Deborah Kekewich. It is written at a 2nd grade level, the reading level of many of my students, and is already divided up into sections with subtitles; which worked beautifully for what I wanted to do. For copyright purposes, I can’t include the text from the book, but I can show you an example of what I did with it.
A better option than re-typing the text would be to photocopy the actual text (covering up all the subtitles with a sticky note) to keep as many of the text features in place as possible, including photographs.
After Reading: The student and I discussed some questions after reading and labeling each section– What words or phrases helped you determine the subtitle? Were there any text features, such as bold print, that helped you determine what was important?
Extension–Homework/Independent Work: Students were asked to do the same activity with a different text that I had divided up for them. I emphasized the importance of highlighting or underlining the words or phrases that helped them determine the subtitle for that section.
Next week, I plan on sharing how you can take this lesson a step further in using text features to determine importance. 🙂
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