Sunday, January 22, 2012

Non-Fiction Text Features Study

I have to say....there are a lot of things I am good at teaching, but Non-Fiction never seemed to be one of them.  It's always an area that I always felt I was short-changing.  I'm a "fairy tale" fiction type girl I never found non-fiction to be as interesting to teach.  But boy was I wrong!!  This year, with some inspiration from my fabulous first grade team members, I came up with some new ideas to help my kiddos immerse themselves in a world of non-fiction and learn to LOVE it, as I now do.  After reading many examples of non-fiction texts, we started to talk about what similar text features we found.  We made a graphic organizer describing all of the different text features so the kids could really see how non-fiction differs from fiction and learn not only WHAT the text features are, but HOW to use them as a reader to help themselves when looking for specific information.

   Another fun activity I had the kids do was to make posters illustrating their favorite Non-Fiction Text Feature.  They worked with partners for this activity, and I really saw some great collaboration and "synergizing," as we say.  Even though I expect A LOT of my kids, I sometimes underestimate what they can do, and it always makes me happy when the finished product exceeds my expectation! I thought their posters were super cute, and I love the inventive spelling! They are using all those sounds we are learning.... :)


One other fun collaborative activity we did was have a Non-Fiction Text Feature Scavenger Hunt.  I put my kiddos in pairs again and gave them an array of non-fiction texts - some were non-fiction books from our classroom library, others were non-fiction big books from the school library, etc.  They had to locate all the different text features and write what page they found it on and what the purpose of that text feature was.  Making it into a "game" really motivated them to look carefully and find all the features.  Some kids discovered that they didn't have a particular text feature in their book, which was okay.  We talked about how not all books have every single text feature.  But they had a lot of fun and learned even more!  Click the page below to download the FREE copy of my non-fiction text feature scavenger hunt.



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