Lesson Plan

Be a Nonfiction Detective!

Take the mystery out of comprehending nonfiction by becoming a text feature detective! Find clues before reading to get your brain ready to learn!
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Unknown Words pre-lesson.
View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Unknown Words pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will use various strategies to understand nonfiction text.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments


(10 minutes)
Hunt for Nonfiction Text FeaturesPreviewing Using Text Features
  • Gather students at the rug and tell them that today you would like to read them a nonfiction book. Quickly review what nonfiction is. Tell students that even though someone can read all the words in a book it doesn’t mean they will understand everything they read. That why it’s important to get your brain ready to read by looking for clues. This is called previewing.
  • Tell students that today they will be nonfiction detectives and, luckily, nonfiction books have some special features where readers can look for clues. List them on the board: Title, Table of Contents, Visuals, Headings.
  • Beginning:
  • Pre-teach the following text features: title, table of contents, headings, visuals.
  • Provide definitions in English and student's home language (L1).
  • Allow students to find or draw pictures of each text feature and paste examples in their journals or reading logs.
  • Intermediate:
  • Allow students to sit in front of the classroom next to supportive peers.
  • Encourage students to paraphrase what they will be doing today.