Are you
studying text features?  Here is a simple
way to tie text features and reading strategies into science or social
studies.  Not rocket science, but a lot
of bang for your buck!
Find a science
on social studies text- big book preferably. 
Start the lesson by looking at the table of contents and creating
questions using the table of contest. 
This accomplishes two things. 1.) It teaches students to use text
features to create questions- which are important for setting a purpose for
reading. 2.) If you use the DRA kit as an assessment this is required with text
starting at the end of second grade.  My
itty bitties are clueless at first unless this has been explicitly taught. 
Then look through the first chapter (or small selection of text- the chapters in this social studies big book are only about 4 pages) of the book, flipping pages so students can preview each page.  Ask students to note what text features they see on each page.  Have students turn and share with a partner. Share with the whole group and LABEL each text feature with a post-it note.  Then examine each text feature, reading captions, and modeling thinking aloud how they help the reader.  I think this is where I ran out of time and picked up with the following the next day!!!
The little red arrow points to the labeled post it note!  You can see a stack of other post it notes behind it marking the other pages!!
Review the
questions created.  Show students the
HEADING of the first chapter.  Show how
the table of contents and the chapter heading are related (this goes over some
of my guy’s heads!!).  Have students look
at the brainstormed list of questions. 
Ask students to share with a partner which questions will most likely be
answered in the first chapter.  These
required kids to reason using the heading, but scaffolds because you already
started with the chapter titles (if that makes sense).    Circle the questions that will most likely
be answered. Read the chapter and then look at the question.  Have students answer the questions and record
on the chart.
Rinse and repeat for each chapter you would like to teach.
It may not be
the most fascinating lesson ever, but it was SO easy to plan and my kids were
with me EVERY step of the way.  They were
really interested in the historical people we study in Georgia and the turn and
share with partner broke up a lot of the sit and get.  We turn and talk a BUNCH.
If you are looking for resources for teaching nonfiction text features I just finished my new pack.  It is on sale right now with the big Cyber Monday and Tuesday sale! Don’t forget to use the code CMT12 for an extra 8% off!

Published by Mandy Gregory

Mandy Gregory is a 2007 and 2012 Teacher of the Year. She has taught 4th, 3rd, and 2nd grade in both the general education and inclusion setting. She is the owner and creator of the Teaching Tips website ( and has over 10 years of experience. She is married with two beautiful children.

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