Lesson Plan

Formatting Nonfiction Text

Text formatting can add a lot of richness to how information is explained. In this lesson students will explore the organization of nonfiction texts and go on a scavenger hunt for different kinds of text formatting features.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Understand Text Features pre-lesson.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Understand Text Features pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able identify and describe text features in a nonfiction text.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments


(10 minutes)
Understanding Nonfiction FormattingFormatting Frenzy
  • Have students discuss in partners or small groups how the organization of information in the following three kinds of texts differs: narrative/story, instructions, and nonfiction.
  • Give a hint to get them started, if necessary, by telling one of the three structures.
  • Share out ideas as a class and discuss.
  • Point out that narratives have a beginning, middle, and end; instructions follow a series of ordered steps (often numbered); and nonfiction is organized by topics divided into subtopics.


  • Give students the opportunity to use their home language (L1) or new language (L2) to describe how the kinds of texts differ.
  • Provide sentence starters for their description sentences.


  • Provide the following sentences frame for the discussion: "In a ________ text, the information is organized ________."