Last week, we talked about whole-group activities for teaching nonfiction text features. Today, I am going to share some lessons and activities for partners and small groups.
Matching Text Features
Matching activities are great for text features. Partners and small groups can use these activities with little to no prep and maintenance from you. Use a set of printable matching cards like the ones above (found in the Text Features Units linked at the bottom of the page). I love using cards like these for memory games, too! They are great for partners.
If you don’t have a set of matching cards, you can simply print/copy examples of text features and label cards. For lower prep, consider displaying the examples and numbering each. Then, display a list of the text features (you can even label these with letters). Students can work as partners or groups to “match” the text feature letter with the correct text feature example number on a list.
Similarly, digital matching and labeling activities are low-to-no-prep! Students enjoy digital activities and it leaves you with zero paperwork. Simply share the link on your online class platform or display a QR code at your centers or small group stations.
Printable Text Feature Graphic Organizers
Students will need plenty of opportunities to identify text features in authentic reading scenarios. So, graphic organizers are the way to go! Partners and small groups can use graphic organizers to identify and interpret text features within their actual nonfiction reading.
After your lesson, when students go into centers, partner work, or small groups, students can pick up a graphic organizer and use it with the nonfiction texts they are already reading (or one you provide).
Text Feature Scavenger Hunts
In the whole-group activities blog post, we talked about text feature scavenger hunts. These are great for whole-group activities but also work well for partners and small groups. Plus, there is no limit to how many of these you can do! They are always great for students to support their nonfiction comprehension skills.
One way this can be done is by having students create text feature collages. Students will search through magazines or newspapers for examples of text features. They can cut out and display multiple examples of each type if they want. They just need to add labels to their posters and, voila! Students will enjoy this activity and you can hang their creations in the hall to show their learning!
*This is a perfect use of any of your leftover Time for Kids or Scholastic News magazines. I always liked to keep the extras in bin. Then, students who didn’t want to take theirs home when we switched them out of our book bins could “recycle” theirs into the bin, too.
If you don’t have large quantities of extra magazines, or you simply want your students to work with a specific nonfiction text, you can use a printable text feature scavenger hunt. Students will identify and describe the text feature, and it will all be turned in on one piece of paper. Easy to collect and grade, easy to prep.
Other Resources That Help Build/Continue Skill
If you’re looking for everything you need to teach Nonfiction Text Features, I have complete units for grades K-4. Each of the units provides activities for students to build their skills until mastery. They have both printable and digital formats, complete with lesson plans, graphic organizers, passages, interactive notebook pages, task cards, and an assessment. Click the link for your grade level to get a closer look!