July 13, 2018
by Jasmine Gibson

EL Support Lesson

All About Nonfiction

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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Are You a Text Detective? lesson plan.
Grade Subject View aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Are You a Text Detective? lesson plan.

Students will be able to identify the features found in a nonfiction text.


Students will be able to identify nonfiction text features with grade-level words using visual and written supports.

(3 minutes)
  • Display a variety of familiar picture books to the class.
  • Ask students to think about the stories in the books and name some of the things the stories were about (e.g. ,princesses, animal adventures, dragons).
  • Explain that all of these books are also called fiction texts, which means they are made up or pretend stories. Tell the students that today they will be learning about a new kind of text, called nonfiction. Say, "A nonfiction text is about something real, like animals, travel, or people."
(5 minutes)
  • Display a nonfiction big book or project the pages from a smaller book for students to see.
  • Ask students to look at the cover and finish the sentence, "I see____." to a partner.
  • Say, "This book is about whales. It looks like it might be a nonfiction text because the picture looks real and the title is Whales.
  • Open the book and complete a picture walk, pausing to have students share out what they see with the class. As they name key nonfiction text features, explain the name of each along with its purpose (glossary, table of contents, photos/illustrations, labels, diagrams, etc.), utilize the vocabulary picture cards during this time.
  • Tell students that one reason we use text features is to help us to identify information in a text, (e.g., what a whale eats).
(5 minutes)
  • Tell students that as you read, they should try to find text features in the book and give a thumbs up if they see one.
  • Read a few pages from Whales aloud to the class. As you read, pause to review the different text features introduced in the previous section.
(10 minutes)
  • Display the Hunting for Nonfiction Text Features Pictures worksheet on the board. Explain that students will get to practice finding different text features with a partner.
  • Pair students up and pass out one nonfiction text and worksheet to each pair.


  • Utilize nonfiction leveled reader texts during the partner work time.
  • Work with students to identify nonfiction text features as a small group, rather than in partnerships.


  • Have advanced students write sentences about what they learned during the text feature partner work.
(10 minutes)
  • Pass out the Text Feature Matching Cards worksheet to each student, and assess whether they are able to correctly match each text feature with its name.
(2 minutes)
  • Close the class by saying, "Nonfiction text features help us find and use information in a book. I hope you will all look carefully at nonfiction books!"

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