3 Easy ways to incorporate technology while teaching text features

Text Features Technology Integration

All elementary teachers understand the necessity and importance of building basic computer skills with students, but the demands of standards and curriculum often make it difficult to fit this into our already overcrowded schedules. The most time effective way to incorporate technology into our lessons is to use it while practicing different content skills. Below are 3 easy ways text features technology integration ideas!

1. Create a Text Feature Paper Slide Video

A paper slide is a short, simple video created using some sort of recording device (like an iPad) and blank sheets of paper. To create a text feature paper slide video, students create “slides” on paper showing examples of different text features, and then record themselves talking about the different text features as they show the slides.

Watch the video below for a short example of a text feature paper slide video. The video is created using a page from my Text Feature Bundle, but a blank sheet of paper will work just as well.

2. Use Microsoft Word or Powerpoint to Create Text Features

Have students experiment with text features in Microsoft Word or Powerpoint. Students can easily create bold and italic words, add bullet points, insert illustrations (clip-art), and add captions. Students that already understand the basics of Microsoft Word could add labels to illustrations, add a table, insert a photograph, or write a short article that incorporates text features. Even if you don’t have the time to have students create a project, just allowing a little time for students to experiment with inserting these text features can be extremely valuable.

The screenshot below shows some quick examples.

Students can also create charts, diagrams, and tables fairly easily in either Microsoft Word or Powerpoint, although Microsoft Powerpoint is considered more user-friendly. The SmartArt Tab has a variety of ready to use visuals that students can experiment with. Encouraging students to find ways to represent information in a visual way requires the use of higher order thinking skills and is an extremely relevant skill in our world today.

The screenshot below shows a few examples of charts and diagrams created very quickly using the SmartArt Tab.

3. Take Pictures of Text Features Around the Room

If you have access to some digital cameras, have students go on a digital text feature scavenger hunt. Students can take pictures of all of the text features they find in your classroom. Most teachers have anchor charts, posters, calendars, instructions, and other print up on their walls. Many of these things will have titles, heading, bullet points, bold letters, diagrams, and other text features on them. Have students take pictures of as many different text features as they can find. If they get stuck, they can always pull out a nonfiction book or textbook. If your school has a lot of print on the walls, you could also have your class take a mini “field trip” and look for text features to photograph around the school.

In an earlier post I discussed making an Interactive Text Feature Bulletin Board using old magazines and newspapers, but you could create this same reference chart using pictures that your students took of different text features!

Hopefully one of these text features technology integration ideas can be adapted for your classroom!

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