Using Nonfiction Text Pictures and Images

Blog post about teaching nonfiction text images.

Hello, teachers!

Today’s blog post is all about teaching Nonfiction Text Images. This skill is all about being able to get information from both the text and the pictures! Starting in Kindergarten, teachers will want to start working with students on identifying and describing pictures and images in nonfiction texts. Each grade level, the skill will build, adding different types of images to students’ skill knowledge. This blog post will outline different activities to use in order to help students gain mastery of the skill and will be able to understand nonfiction text images.

Standards for Nonfiction Text Images:

  • Kinder: With prompting and support, describe the relationship between illustrations and the text in which they appear (e.g., what person, place, thing, or idea in the text an illustration depicts).
  • 1st Grade: Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.
  • 2nd Grade: Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text.
  • 3rd Grade: Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
  • 4th Grade: Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.

What Are Nonfiction Text Pictures and Images?

Anchor chart of images in a text.

Anchor charts are a great place to start with any skill! For nonfiction text images, it is so important to have a central place for students to reference the different types of images they are learning about. This a great place for your unused and leftover Time for Kids or Scholastic magazines! Simply cut and paste these image onto an anchor chart and label them. *Completing this activity whole group is even better! Send students on a scavenger hunt for different types of nonfiction text images, and label them as a class.

Get Students Familiarized with Types of Images

Nonfiction text images matching activity.

Starting off, you will want to provide students with opportunities to learn about the different types of nonfiction text images. Some students may not have previous experience with some of the images and won’t understand how to interpret them or their purpose. Introductions to each type can be done with activities like matching cards or nonfiction text image scavenger hunts.

Graphic organizer lesson activities for teaching text images.

Another way for students to familiarize themselves with the various nonfiction text images is to use these graphic organizers. They allow students to dig deeper into their understanding of each image type, looking for what the purpose of the image is, how it helps a reader’s understanding and more!

Teach Students to Pull Information from Both Text & Images

Nonfiction text images task card activity.

As I mentioned above, the goal is for students to be able to gain information and understanding from all parts of a text. So, it is important that they learn how to learn information from images, not just the words in a text! For example, this activity has students using both an informational passage and a timeline to learn about scientists in our solar system. They will be able to process how to pull specific information from different parts of the text.

Provide Lots of Practice Activities

Graphic organizers for students to practice text images.

Students will need lots of practice, practice, practice for skill mastery. And soon, they will begin to look for information from nonfiction text images in their own reading! So, using graphic organizers during their independent reading time is a great way to scaffold their understanding. I always like to keep skill specific graphic organizers ready to go for their read-to-self and partner-reading time. As the teacher, graphic organizers are helpful in checking for/measuring their understanding.

Nonfiction Text Images reading passages.

Reading passages can be used for more direct skill assessment and practice. These nonfiction text images passages can be used for small group or as independent reading practice. *Those of you who use standards based grading: because these passages are skill-specific, they are perfect for measuring skill mastery!

Interactive notebooks for learning text images.

Do you use interactive notebooks in your classroom? During independent reading time, interactive notebooks can keep your kiddos’ focused on the skill that you are working on. With direct questions for nonfiction text images, the activity can help your students think about their understanding and even communicate it!

Primary informational mentor text suggested book list for using images in a nonfiction text to further understand the text- RI.1.7, RI.2.7, RI.3.7

Here are a few texts that I would suggest for read alouds. These can be read aloud once a day at the beginning of your mini lesson time. Or these can be provided for students during one of the work stations so they can explore text and nonfiction images. The six links below are affiliate links to Amazon.

Seeing Symmetry by Loreen Leedy
Timeless Thomas by Gene Barretta 
Are You an Ant? by Judy Allen
Clothesline Clues to What People Do by Kathryn Heling
I Read Signs by Tana Hoban (very early readers)
A Medieval Feast by Aliki

Need Nonfiction Text Pictures Resources?

Thanks for reading!

Blog post about teaching nonfiction text images for primary students.

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