Lesson Plan

Text Features: Reading that Makes Sense

Improve your students' comprehension of non-fictional reading through this lesson that teaches them about text features. Students will find their own text features and explain why they aid in the reading process.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Using Text Features for Comprehension pre-lesson.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Using Text Features for Comprehension pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to understand the purpose of text features and how they support readers' comprehension of a text.

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


(5 minutes)
Presidio of San FranciscoJamestownText Features Book Pages
  • Explain to students that text features are the elements of books, newspapers, and magazines that enhance a reader's experience by pointing out important information and making the text simpler to understand.
  • Explain the following nonfiction text features with the class: table of contents, index, glossary, titles, headings/subheadings, text (bold, color, italics), bullets, asterisks, pictures, illustrations, captions, side bars, diagrams, maps, tables, and time lines.
  • Display an example of each type of text feature and a definition of each. This can be on a digital presention or in an example book.
  • Emphasize the importance of each text feature and prompt students to discuss any prior experience they have with these text features.


  • Ask students to define text features with a partner. Allow them to use their home language (L1) if they choose.
  • Provide a student-friendly definition of text features. Give learners a partially completed glossary on which to record examples of text features.
  • Provide a word bank for students to use when completing the sentence stems.


  • Instruct learners to define text features in their own words and explain why they are important.
  • Have students use a word bank of important terms to explain how they used text features to better understand text.
  • Display sentence frames for discussion, such as "I have used the ________________ text feature, and it helped _________________."