Are you looking for a way to make your normal nonfiction content more engaging? One simple way to boost student engagement is to theme your lessons and activities! So, today I am going to talk about teaching nonfiction text features during the fall season. However, you can always adjust the theme to fit the current season, student interests, current events, etc.
Anchor Charts with a Fall Focus
First, when teaching any new content, I will always recommend creating anchor charts. For this theme, simply create or display an anchor chart that shows text features surrounding a fall item or topic. In this case, I chose a pumpkin. After you have an example with several text features, have your students help you label the text features with sticky notes! OR for a lower-prep option, bring up a PDF or webpage of an article on your smartboard. Then, you can label the text features digitally!
You can even center this around fall activities that your class has planned. If you visit an apple orchard or farm, your students can create their own anchor charts about a topic from the trip.
Mentor Texts with Examples
Simultaneously, switching out your stack of mentor texts with ones that fit the theme will create high-interest reading materials. Grab a few of these fall nonfiction books and have them available for your students to use during partner and independent activities.
- Apples for Everyone
- What Can You See in Fall
- Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin Pie
- Life Cycles: Pumpkins
- Animals in Fall: Preparing for Winter
- A Sunflower’s Life Cycle
Nonfiction Text Features in Videos
Another option is looking for nonfiction text features in fall-themed videos. BrainPop & BrainPop, Jr. always have excellent examples of text features! Here are two videos about fall!
Practice Finding Text Features in Passages
Of course, your students will need to practice finding text features in nonfiction passages. So, use texts about topics that fit in the fall category. These could be passages about fall sports, holidays, fall leaves, autumn harvest, spiders, pumpkins, s’mores, and more!
Fun with Nonfiction Text Features
Once you find texts to work with, consider amping up the fun with extras that feel like fall! This can be extremely simple and low-prep. Have your students color-code nonfiction text features with candy corn-colored markers. Add orange and yellow sticky notes to their supply bins. Play “pass the pumpkin” when you’re facilitating a whole-group or small-group discussion.
Whatever your theme ideas are, they will surely boost student engagement! I hope that you find some fun in the theme, as well!
Happy Fall Teaching!
Suggested Resource Focused on Nonfiction Text Features
If you’re looking for a set of passages that will fit all your fall nonfiction text features activities, I have a set for you! These 19 nonfiction texts each come with a page of skill-specific comprehension questions. Simply print and go!
Other Resources That Help Build/Continue Skill
On the other hand, if you’re looking for all things Nonfiction Text Features, I have complete units for grades K-5. 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!