Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Tried it Tuesday: Teaching Text Features through a {Project Freebie!}

I try to get my kids to recognize text features in all non-fiction texts we read. My favorite teacher moments are when I hear my kiddos say, "Mrs. Lopez! Look! It's a diagram!" Makes my teacher heart happy! I simply typed up these text features and printed them on colored paper. Click here if you'd like a copy.

I tried to hit it really hard this year because I think if kids can understand the purpose of text features, and then they use the text features, it makes a big deal in their comprehension. So, to start, I made an anchor chart as a giant, colorful visual. Making this also made my heart happy. :) Then, my students made these mini versions of anchor charts...

To start, they cut out a quick text feature sort I made and printed on purple and green paper. (You can get those here!) They had to match the text feature with its purpose, then use Time magazines to cut out the text features they found. I loved that they randomly got out of their seat to go look at my anchor chart to ensure they were cutting out the correct features. 

Once my kids had these beauties finished, I gave them a project to complete the next week during station time. Man, did they love it! 

 I gave them a rubric (which we thoroughly discussed--for the entire 10 minutes they listened)...

And a blank template (two options) and they had to:
1. Pick an animal
2. Go to the library and check out a text about that animal
3. Create a magazine filled with information about the animal--and of course, include text features!

I created an exemplar to show my kiddos, using this pack from Creekside Teacher Tales. I just printed one of the many non-fiction pieces she created to save myself some time. It was the sea otter article she wrote. Sorry, I can't include that for you, but I highly recommend this pack--it's wonderful! Then I simply created a front cover for my magazine project and filled out an example of the recording sheets. 

Here are a couple examples of projects a few ladies in my class made! I really think this project was beneficial for my students, so if you would like a copy, just click here! This is the powerpoint version so that you can edit anything if you'd like. I myself changed the grading rubric around a couple times, so I thought you might like a version to do the same with. Enjoy!

Now.. go link up with Fourth Grade Flipper and share what you tried! 

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  1. Wow!! This is awesome! I downloaded all your freebies (thank you!) and added that nonfiction pack to my wish list. Text features are on my list of things I need to cover still. Luckily, my teaching partner has touched on them in science and social studies. Thanks so much for linking up!
    Fourth Grade Flipper

  2. So many resources! Isn't it funny how a simple word sort is so much fun? My students love these too! I usually create a bulletin board for text features-I like your anchor chart because you can save it and refer to it throughout the year. Thanks for sharing!
    Head Over Heels For Teaching

  3. Thank you for the matching activity. I really like how you had them find and cut the text features from magazines...I teach 2nd but we go over these things over and over all year too. We are doing it right now actually!

    Literacy Spark

  4. This is fantastic! We are talking about this right now and it will fit in with my plans. Thanks for all the freebies.

  5. Love, love, love! I pinned this on the Teachers of Pinterest-Literacy board! Thanks for all the freebies, Mandy! OXOX
    Rockin' and Lovin' Learnin'

  6. LOVE this! I am teaching an investigative journalism unit to 8th graders and am thinking of using this for our culminating report project. Thank you so much for sharing!!!

    1. What a fun idea, Zoe! I love how this lesson can be used at many grade levels, differentiated by the texts they read and product they produce!

  7. Love it! Now I'm trying figure out where to put this in for next year! :)
    :) Steph
    Simple Insights

    1. Thanks, lady! My kids really enjoyed doing this project because they got to add a lot of their own creativity!