Lesson plan

Find the Text Feature

Get your students excited about expository text through this fun introduction to text features! Students will create their own glossary of nonfiction text features.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will be able to identify nonfiction text features.

(8 minutes)
  • Gather students together on the rug as if you are reading aloud to them.
  • Review the differences between fiction and nonfiction texts with the students in a brief conversation. Examples might include: Fiction is imaginary and nonfiction is about something real, you learn facts from nonfiction, etc.
  • Ask them if they know what a picture walk is. Have a brief discussion about what a picture walk is and why you might do one before reading a book. Answers might include: learn what the book is about, predict what will happen or what they will learn, ask questions that include the who/what/where of the book.
  • Explain that you will be taking a “text feature walk” using a nonfiction text to learn about some special things authors use in nonfiction texts to teach their readers about the topic.
(10 minutes)
  • Show students the nonfiction text you will be learning about during the lesson.
  • Slowly flip through the nonfiction text, pointing out text features on each page. Point out the table of contents, photographs or pictures, labeled diagrams, headings, and bolded words. As you point out each feature, explain to students what it is and ask them why it might be useful. For example, a bolded word signifies something important and can be found in the glossary at the back of the book.
(12 minutes)
  • Explain that now students will spend time looking through nonfiction texts with a partner in their own “text feature walk.”
  • Pass out a nonfiction text to each pair and encourage them to slowly flip through the book, pausing on each page to identify and discuss the text features.
  • After 10 minutes, get students’ attention and ask them to share out what they discovered on their text feature walk.
(15 minutes)
  • Explain that now students will spend time independently working to complete the Text Feature Matching Cards worksheet and go over instructions, then have students complete the activity independently.


  • For students who are struggling readers and/or require reading support during the independent work time, form a small group to work with the teacher to complete the Text Feature Matching Cards worksheet as a group.


  • For advanced students, provide them with blank writing paper and have them create their own short nonfiction book that includes text features such as a table of contents, labeled diagrams, and a glossary.
(5 minutes)
  • Collect the worksheets and assess whether students were able to accurately identify and match text features such as titles, table of contents, headings, labels, and diagrams.
(5 minutes)

After the 15 minutes of independent work time has concluded, ask students to return to the rug with their completed activity sheets. They can share out with the group when they think using text features might help them as they read. End by saying, “Did you know you just created your very own glossary of nonfiction text features? You can glue this sheet into your writing notebooks and use it to remind yourself what each text feature means.”

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