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Nonfiction Text Features in Guided Reading

When introducing a new book during guided reading, it is important to prepare students for challenges in the text. Authors of informational text employ a variety of features to assist the reader in finding information quickly and efficiently, but learning how to use these elements can be tough. Here are some features students may encounter during their reading:

•  Index
•  Table of contents
•  Bold or italicized text
•  Glossary
•  Embedded definitions
•  Realistic illustrations or photos
•  Captions and other labels
•  Graphs, charts, and maps

As you plan your book introduction, consider the book's text features and if any of those elements may be new to students. I suggest showing students each unfamiliar feature and talking about how it is used to provide additional information about the topic.

You also can utilize these elements to prepare students to read and understand the text. Here is a video I made recently of Jan Richardson working with All About Honeybees (you can read the book here). This session comes from one of our new lesson plans developed for the Literacy Footprints Second Grade kit.