EL Support Lesson
Using Text Features for Comprehension
Students will be able to understand the purpose behind text features and how they can be of help to them in making sense of nonfictional text.
Students will be able to explain information gained from the text and illustrations with words and phrases using sentence stems and graphic organizers.
- Ask students to think about what they can find in a nonfiction text, other than the words in sentences and paragraphs. Record their answers on the board or chart paper.
- Explain that all the extra things we find in a nonfiction text are called text features. These support us as we read and learn about a topic.
- Share with students that they will explain information gained from the text and illustrations throughout this lesson. They will use sentence stems and graphic organizers.
Building academic language
- Explain to learners that they will first learn new vocabulary words that will help them understand the texts they’ll read today.
- Give student-friendly definitions for the words while the class completes the Vocabulary Instruction Chart. Provide students with the definition, part of speech, and an example.
- Model coming up with your own sentence, using the word "establish." For example, “I will establish a plan for cleaning the basement this weekend.”
- Instruct learners to talk to a shoulder partner and choose two vocabulary words. Have them each use the words in a sentence, taking turns.
- Display and distribute a copy of the Gaining Information from the Text and its Features worksheet to each student. Read aloud the information box at the top. Have a student read aloud the example sentences.
- Explain to students that after reading each sentence, they will see what question it answers. Then, they will write the information in their own words.
- Direct students to circle any vocabulary words they see in the sentences. Have them underline any words they wish to talk about. Define and provide images of any new words, as needed.
- Model thinking aloud about the first sentence, which answers the question "When did it happen?" Point out that the sentence gives a year, which is a date. With that information, we know when the event happened. Show learners how to write the answer, and have them record it on their worksheets.
- As a class, engage learners in completing the second question "Where did it happen?" Invite them to pick out the information from the sentence and guide you in writing the answer on the lines.
- Put students into partnerships and assign each as Partner A or Partner B. Instruct Partner A to lead the process on the question, "Why did it happen?" Encourage Partner B to rephrase, agree, and disagree. Have Partner B lead the process on the question, "How did it happen?"
- Display and distribute a copy of the Working Together: Text and Text Features worksheet to each student. Have a student read aloud the information at the top of the worksheet to review.
- Read aloud the text, and have students circle any vocabulary words they see. Have them underline words they wish to discuss. Define and provide images of new words, as needed.
- Model labeling the text features (illustration, map) and have students discuss with a partner what type of information is in each type of text feature.
- Record information about the map in the graphic organizer, and have learners write it down.
- Instruct students to encourage their partners to record information about the second text feature.
- Direct students’ attention to the text feature with the carved tree, and explain that you will model filling out sentence frames using that text feature and the text. Display the following sentence frame and model completing it.
- The illustration shows ____ and the text says ____. The illustration adds information about ___.
Additional EL adaptations
- Have students complete the Vocabulary Instruction Chart in their home language (L1).
- Provide sentence stems and frames for class discussion, such as:
- I found the answer to the question ____ here.
- The evidence is ____. That means ____.
- Allow beginning ELs to use bilingual resources to define new words throughout the lesson.
- Provide a list of common text features with student-friendly definitions and images for reference.
- Allow learners to utilize glossaries and dictionaries for unfamiliar words.
- Choose advanced ELs to share their ideas first in group and class discussions.
- Have learners repeat instructions and key vocabulary, summarizing important information for the class.
Formative Assessment of Academic Language(5 minutes)
- Give each student an index card. Explain that they will complete sentence frames for the text feature on the Gaining Information from the Text and its Features worksheet.
- Display the following sentence frame and have students copy it on their index cards, filling in the blanks:
- The text feature shows ____ and the text says ____. The text feature adds information about ____.
Review and closing(3 minutes)
- Have students talk to their partner about the sentence frames they completed in the formative assessment. Call on nonvolunteers to share out, and provide clarification as needed.
- Remind learners that text features are placed in nonfiction texts to help us better understand what we read by giving us visuals and additional information.