IMG_0104I started a lesson a couple of weeks ago with my 3rd graders asking them to take a post-it note pad and sticky note text features in the book we would be reading for that day.  I had a student immediately say, “What is a text feature?”  Two thoughts came through my mind.  1. I was so happy he was willing to say he was unsure.  2. This is something they study extensively in 2nd grade.  Why was this still unknown?

So in the world of teaching adjusting your plans will happen often.  I had to adjust and we began to talk about text features briefly.  I knew we’d need to come back to this.

Fast forward to last week where I brought it up again.  It was a little more well known, but students didn’t know how they helped them in the books they were reading.  We went over how the features are helpful (as are the 3rd grade classroom teachers)

IMG_0108Today we went through magazines to find the different text features and then wrote about how they could help us as readers.  We made a large chart together (We still have a couple of features to finish writing about).

This ended up being an excellent learning day.  Students were cutting out random things and shouting, “I FOUND ONE!”  I would reply back with, “Well, which one did you find?”  Once they had to really think about it, then they realized it wasn’t really a text feature.

I have to say I was quite impressed with the team work that went into putting this chart together.  My motto is “team work makes the dream work” and students today rose to that quote.  If one student wasn’t sure how it helped, another was there to assist.  They were asking each other for their opinion on what kind of text feature they found and if it fit the criteria we were looking for.  Wow!  Real discussions about literature topics.

Next week I’ll be starting a 3 book non-fiction series with my 3rd graders.  I’m hoping this extra time we took to go over how text features help us will aid in our readings for the next 2 weeks.