EL Support Lesson

Going on a Nonfiction Picture Walk

ELs will gain valuable practice learning about text features as they practice close reading and communication skills during a nonfiction picture walk. Use on its own or as a support for the Classifying Nonfiction Text Features lesson plan.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Classifying Nonfiction Details lesson plan.
Grade Subject View aligned standards
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Classifying Nonfiction Details lesson plan.

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


Students will be able to identify nonfiction text features using visual and written supports.

(2 minutes)
  • Begin the lesson by reviewing how fiction is different from nonfiction. Display several familiar books that are both fiction and nonfiction and have students help you sort them. Encourage students to note the differences between the two styles of text.
(8 minutes)
  • Explain to students that nonfiction books use text features, which are visual aides that help us understand the topic of a text.
  • Introduce a variety of text features using the vocabulary cards and glossary included in this lesson plan.
  • Review what a picture walk is (looking carefully at the pictures in a text in order to preview the book and help you make predictions about a topic), and explain that today students will be going on something different, called a "text feature walk."
  • Model how to go on a text feature walk using the text Ladybugs, focusing on learning about the text. Demonstrate how to read and view each text feature in the order it is shown in the book (e.g. "This is the table of contents, I can see it is all about ladybugs.")
  • Make predictions about the text main topic (e.g. "I predict that this book will talk about the life cycle of a ladybug; I think the main topic is ladybugs.")
  • Model asking questions to clear up any confusion when looking at the text features (e.g., "What does this life cycle show?")
(10 minutes)
  • Choose a new nonfiction text and complete a shared text feature walk by inviting students to come up and identify the text features in order. Then ask students to share (support by asking guiding questions) their predictions for the text based on the text features.
  • Encourage conversation between students and model how to engage with the text features beyond identifying them by name. For example, rather than just saying, "This is a chart," continue and say, "I notice it has ____. I wonder ____."
  • Ask questions to clear up any confusion when looking at the text features. For example, "What information does the text share? Why is there a picture of a ____?"
(10 minutes)
  • Pair students up into groups of two and pass out one nonfiction text, index cards, and one set of vocabulary cards to each student.
  • Have students go on a shared text feature walk, using the vocabulary cards as references for each text feature.
  • Tell students to record their first prediction for their nonfiction text on the index card. Encourage students to go back and check their prediction at the end of the book.
  • Remind students to ask their partner questions about the text or the text features if they are confused about something. For example, "Why do you think that is a text feature?"


  • Work with a smaller group of students to complete a guided text feature walk with the teacher.
  • For additional practice, have students complete the Read the Pictures worksheet.


  • Have students complete a second text feature walk independently and record their predictions, questions, and ideas about the text.
  • Have students practice finding the main topic using the text feature walk for support and recording it on the Main Topic worksheet.
(5 minutes)
  • Assess student understanding by checking in with each small group to see if they are able to follow the text features in order and work together to engage in a shared conversation about the function of the text feature and their predictions for the text.
  • Monitor the students to make sure they are asking questions to clear up misunderstandings or confusion
  • Collect student predictions at the end of the class session.
(5 minutes)
  • Call on pairs of students to share a text feature they found along with a prediction they made about their nonfiction book. Ask students to share ways that text features and their partner conversations helped them better understand the book.

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