A fun and easy way to help students practice with the different types of text features is to create a text feature book. Creating a text feature book will help strengthen students’ understanding of the purposes of different non fiction text features. And, even better, students can use the book as a reference throughout the school year!
Teaching the Text Features
Before students can successfully create a text feature book, they will need to have an understanding of the different text features and their purposes (Use my Free Text Feature Slideshow or my other Text Feature Resources to teach them the text features).
There are several different ways you could approach teaching the text features and creating a text feature book.
1. Teach all of the nonfiction text features at once. Then, have students create a book to help them apply what they have learned. This option will probably take the least amount of classroom time, but could be overwhelming to some students because there are so many different text features!
2. Teach one text feature at a time. After teaching the text feature, have students immediately create a page in their book. This will help prevent students from getting mixed up with all of the different text features, and will keep some of your students from becoming so overwhelmed.
3. Teach text features throughout the school year as they come up in nonfiction text. After seeing a text feature and discussing it with the class, students can add a page to their text feature book – a book that will grow continuously throughout the school year. This approach will allow students to see text features in their real setting (a nonfiction text), but it will require some serious planning to make sure you hit all of the important text features throughout the school year.
Creating a Text Feature Book
When having students create a text feature book, make sure there is room for the student to include the name, give an example, and explain the purpose of the text feature. Often the purpose of the text feature gets left out, but this is the most important part! If students can identify a text feature but they don’t understand how it helps them as a reader, then they are missing out.
If you have any old (school appropriate) magazines or newspapers, students could cut out different text features that they find and glue them into their book. This is a great option for the students that get frustrated with their artistic skills. For the students that like to draw, encourage them to draw their own example of the text feature.
For more low prep ideas on using old magazines and newspapers while teaching text features, check out my post on text feature scavenger hunts.
Class Books VS. Individual Books
When making text feature books with your students, you could:
1. Have each student make their own, individual book.
2. Have students work together as a class to make one collective class book.
3. Have groups of students work together to make several class books.
4. Do a combination of class books and individual books.
If making a class book, each student would be assigned one text feature (or several text features if working with a group) to be responsible for. That student would be the “expert” on that one text feature. This might be the best option for you if you have a limited amount of class time, or if you have a lot of struggling students that would be frustrated if asked to create an entire book independently. However, creating a class text feature book will also limit your students’ understanding of the text features they were not assigned.
After creating the class book, it could be placed in your classroom library so that students can read it throughout the school year.
Having each student create their own individual text feature book will take up a lot more class time, but your students will be more familiar with ALL of the nonfiction text features. After completing their book, students could keep it in their desk or interactive notebook so that they could constantly refer to it throughout the year.
If you wanted to differentiate this activity, have your more independent students create their own text feature books while you have the students that need some extra support work as a group to create a book they can share with the class.
You can make your own template easily in Microsoft Powerpoint. For a no prep option, buy a text feature book template here.
Don’t Ever Stress Over Sub Plans Again!
When you subscribe to my newsletter below, I’ll send you my Reusable Sub Plans for FREE. You’ll also get updates on new blog posts and freebies.