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Learning About Nonfiction Text Features {Part 2}

Wow, we have been swimming in nonfiction text features in my room.  My students seem to understand the need to read the nonfiction text features better than any of my classes in prior years.  While my students have always been able to point them out in the past, this year, I really stressed the importance of explaining, showing, and sharing how the features help us as readers.  Last week, we did all kinds of reading activities with our features of nonfiction text.  This week, it was time to transfer that knowledge into our writing and help the students fully understand text features by producing them in an authentic activity.  Here’s what we did!

We made nonfiction feature books.  During our Daily 5 mini lessons, the students each created a book about themselves and labeled the features we included.  Because they each put a real photograph of themselves on the cover of the book, I’ll share my not-so-cute version with you that I did as the students were making their own books. 

We wrote a title, included a photograph, labels, and a map of where we lived.  We also wrote captions about where we lived on the map.  

On Day 3, it was time to integrate nonfiction text features into our math content! Before we headed to our small groups for math, we measured how tall we were with cubes!  We linked ten cubes together and the students counted how tall they were in “tens and ones.”  They recorded this information into their nonfiction feature book as a fact box! 
During Writer’s Workshop, it was time for them to work independently on their own nonfiction turkey book.  We used our Scholastic News weekly readers to research and find facts about turkeys. We asked questions about turkeys prior to reading. As the text answered their questions, we underlined the new information we learned. 
Our nonfiction turkey books!
I encouraged the students to include nonfiction text features in their books.
They took them home today and they are so excited to share them with their families.

 Overall, it was a great week of literacy.  By integrating nonfiction text features into our reading groups, mini lessons, writing block, and math, the kids really took ownership of their learning and understand the importance of nonfiction features.

I’ll leave you with this quote that I found over at Teaching With Simplicity.  It really pulled at my heart this week and was a needed reminder. You can click on the picture to jump to Teaching With Simplicity and see more motivational quotes for teachers. 🙂

I’ll be back on Sunday with a giveaway opportunity that I’m really, really excited about! Thanks for stopping by and catching up with us! 🙂 I hope you have a fabulous weekend! 

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  1. What a fantastic idea to have the children use a picture of themselves as a springboard for nonfiction writing. I bet the kids loved it. Thank you for sharing. I am going to try a modified version of this with my first graders.

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