There are many ways how to teach non-fiction text features. When lesson planning, it’s important to think of your students’ needs and the time you have available. Here are some quick, simple ways to teach non-fiction text features to your first and second grade students.
Create An Anchor Chart From A Book
One way to introduce non-fiction text features is with a book in your classroom library. To prepare for this lesson, I would look through the different non-fiction texts in my classroom library. If you don’t have many, you can always visit your school or local library to find one. When looking through the different books, I was looking for each text feature. I will admit it is difficult to find a book with every text feature, so as long as you can find most of them within one book that will work. Then, you can find the missing ones in different books.
Once you find each text feature (make sure to mark the pages with post-its so you don’t have to search for them again!), you are going to make photo copies. Then, you’ll create your anchor chart. This anchor chart makes a great reference throughout your non-fiction reading unit. Plus, it is helpful for students to see real-life examples of text features from books they would read.
Use A Scavenger Hunt
What kid doesn’t love a scavenger hunt?! Each student will get a booklet with a page devoted to each non-fiction text feature. To prepare for this activity, go through your non-fiction texts from your classroom library. Find ones that have the text feature(s) you are working on and place them in buckets. I do one bucket per table in my classroom, but you can group these how you need to. Then, students will go on a scavenger hunt (you can even give them small magnifying glasses to make it more fun!) to find this text feature. They will write where they found it and draw a picture that matches the book.
Non-Fiction and Fiction Sort
It’s important for students to know the differences and similarities between non-fiction and fiction texts. Doing a whole class sort to discuss what the different texts may or may not have will help them understand. Plus, looking through different fiction and non-fiction texts will help them visualize it as well.
Play Non-Fiction Text Feature Bingo
Who doesn’t love playing bingo? Your students will enjoying playing this non-fiction text feature version in either small group or whole group. Each student gets a bingo board. You will call out the text feature and they will mark it on their board. You can grab this fun game for free right here!
Expose Your Students To Many Different Non-Fiction Texts
One of my favorite ways to introduce non-fiction is to give my students the opportunity to just look through the texts. They are so used to and comfortable with fiction texts, particularly picture books, at this age that it’s important to let them really look at the non-fiction texts.
Here’s some of my favorites:
- National Geographic Kids Readers
- What If You Had Animal… Series
- Who Would Win? Series
- Fly Guy Presents…
Non-Fiction Text Features Reading Unit
Looking for more support for teaching non-fiction text features to your students? Check out our comprehensive non-fiction reading unit!
- 21 text feature anchor charts
- pre- and post-assessments
- whole group sorting activity
- small group activities
- write the room activities
- reading passages
- graphic organizers
You can purchase the non-fiction reading unit through Teachers Pay Teachers or through the Missing Tooth Grins website store!
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