Wandering through Text Features

Oh my word...

It's Monday, and we made it back to school!  And yes, there is a chance of that white stuff coming again later in the week, I'm going to pretend that I didn't see it...

We have only had a day and a half of school in the past two weeks.  During that time, we've been trying to learn about nonfiction text features.

We started off with photographs and captions...and then added table of contents and the index.

We have been learning not only how to identify these features, but how they help readers find and locate information.  As students have been reading their non-fiction texts, they have been first identifying text features with sticky notes.

We have more text features to go, but we are working our way through the most common to begin with.  We've learned about the table of contents, photographs, captions, glossary, index, and bold (and italic) print.  

How are the students held accountable for their learning?

After lots of modeling, students are given 10 sticky notes to label their independent text.  They must label all of the text features we've studied to date, and then the remaining sticky notes they can label more photographs, bold print, or captions as it is for this week.  Once they have labeled these features, they have to answer questions.

The first week, the model was:  The photo and caption helped me better understand _____________ by _______________________.  The index helped me better understand ___________________________ by _______________________________.

The next week, the model was:  Ask three questions that could be answered by looking at the table of contents.  Example:  When was George Washington born?  I can look at Chapter 3, The Life of George Washington to find the answer to this question.

The students did pretty well with the asking and answering questions for the table of contents.  I wasn't sure all mine would be able to do it.  I have a few that still need a little work on fine tuning, but they have a pretty good start.  

This student went a little further and actually located the answer to her "I wonder..." statement.  I didn't have them write down the title of the chapter because the book they used was turned in with their paper, so I could quickly glance at the table of contents to see if their answers were correct.  

There has also been a controversy over "I wonder..." versus questioning...  no where in our 2nd grade framework does it mention "I wonder..." but to ask who, what, when, where, and why questions...  Our comprehension series is loaded with "I wonder..." statements.  I allow my students to use "I wonder..." but I would rather they'd ask a question.  

More on text features as we get to them!  Stay tuned... :)

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