Lesson plan

Classifying Nonfiction Details

As students re-read nonfiction texts, have them classify visual features and record learnings from the captions.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Going on a Nonfiction Picture Walk pre-lesson.
EL Adjustments
Grade Subject View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Going on a Nonfiction Picture Walk pre-lesson.

Students will be able to re-read a leveled nonfiction text, identify a visual feature, and record a fact from the caption.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
  • Tell students they will be rereading their nonfiction books, paying specific attention to the visual text features like diagrams, illustrations, photographs, and charts. Explain that visual features can give important information, too.
  • They will each get three sticky notes to mark and identify visual text features that really stand out. Students will also note one fact they’ve learned from the caption, which is explainer text below a visual feature.
(5 minutes)
  • Show students a selection of enlarged copies of nonfiction visual text features with captions.
  • Ask your class how they might classify each visual: diagram, chart, illustration, or photo. Explain the features of each visual text feature. Diagrams are pictures with labeled parts, illustrations are drawings, charts visually display data, and photographs are captured with a camera.
  • Model how to describe each visual text feature with a sentence frame like, “I can tell this is a chart because ____.”
  • Share a fact you’ve learned from each caption.
(10 minutes)
  • Model how you marked text features with sticky notes in a familiar mentor text. Explain why you found the visual text features interesting.
  • Explain to your class how easy it is to share each visual text feature with a partner later by having a sticky note for reference.
  • Preview the Classifying Visual Text Features worksheet by demonstrating how to reference sticky notes in the nonfiction texts. The sticky notes can be numbered and noted on the worksheet for correspondence. Also record facts learned from the captions.
(15 minutes)
  • Give each student three sticky notes to mark and identify their text features and a copy of the Classifying Visual Text Features worksheet.
  • Have students get their familiar nonfiction books, start reading, and use sticky notes to mark visual text features that stand out. Ask them to record the facts they learn on their Classifying Visual Text Features worksheets.

Enrichment: Have students imagine and sketch new visual text features and caption details for their text.

Support: During independent work time, students may work in partners with the same text, or take turns with each of their own.

  • You may choose to show your read aloud through a projector so students can see better (especially your sticky notes).
(5 minutes)
  • During independent work time, walk around and check in with students, identifying which students to pull into small groups.
(10 minutes)
  • Have students bring the book they want to share to the rug and model how to talk to their partner.
  • Have a chart read with sentence stems:
    • My book is called ____.
    • I found a ____ text feature that showed ____.
    • I learned ____ from this caption.
    • This was interesting to me because ____.
    • This diagram shows ____.
    • This photograph shows ____.
  • Close by celebrating accomplishments and then point out parts of the exercise that need more practice.

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