Karl and Carolina Uncover the Parts of a Book

Recommended Grades: 2-5


Karl and Carolina love to learn.  In Karl and Carolina Uncover the Parts of a Book (In the Library), children will learn about the parts of a book right beside the characters. 

Lesson Idea:

Text Features: Read aloud Karl and Carolina Uncover the Parts of a Book (In the Library) and discuss the parts of a book.  Discuss how the author combined elements of fiction and nonfiction to tell the story.  Read aloud this book at the beginning of a unit on nonfiction text features to introduce a few text features.  Or read it aloud to review a few features.  The author does a great job defining the features and the illustrations are colorful and lively.  After reading aloud this book as an introduction, create a class checklist of features that can be displayed permanently.  As students locate new features in their reading, they can add to the list.   

©2011 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

Chimp Math: Learning about Time from a Baby Chimpanzee by Ann Whitehead Nagda and Cindy Bickel

Theme: Nonfiction Read Alouds

Strategy: Nonfiction Text Features

Recommended Grades: 3-5th grade

Chimp Math: Learning about Time from a Baby Chimpanzee is the story of a chimpanzee (Jiggs) born in a zoo and abandoned by his mother.  Raised by humans, his young life is portrayed within the details of this book. The book is set up so that one can read the text on the right-hand pages and simply learn the story. The left-hand pages offer explanations of the time lines, charts, clocks, and calendars that were used to measure and record the chimp’s growth and development.

Lesson Idea: Read aloud this book or parts of this book.  Discuss with students how the text features enhances the text and also provides further understanding of Jigg’s story.  Download the Nonfiction Text Features Checklist.  Model for students how to locate various text features throughout the text. Model how to complete the checklist.  When students have had plenty of practice locating text features with you or a partner, have them use the checklist to locate features on their own.

Content Connections: Chimp Math: Learning about Time from a Baby Chimpanzee is a great content connector when you are teaching time.

©2010 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie by Jill Esbaum

Theme: Fall

Writer’s Workshop: Nonfiction Text Features

Recommended Grades: 2nd -5th grade

Seed, Sprout, Pumpkin, Pie (Picture the Seasons) is another book in the National Geographic Kids Picture the Seasons series.  This book describes how pumpkins grow, different types of pumpkins, and various uses of pumpkins.    

Lesson Idea: Read aloud this book.  Discuss with students how the author uses text features to describe the pumpkins.  For example, when describing the size of pumpkins, she mentions that some may be GIANTS you can sit inside.  Discuss how she uses different fonts and font sizes (print features and print layout) to match the word.  This is one example of nonfiction text features.  The author uses this craft several times in this text.  On a piece of chart paper, in a T-chart form, list the words the author uses and how she enhances the text by changing the fonts to match the words.  On one side of the T-chart, place the word and its meaning.  On the other side, show how the author used the font to emphasize the word.  Discuss with students how using this particular text feature demonstrates meaning of the word.  Find other mentor texts that model text features the same way.  Share those on the class T-chart as well.  Display the chart in the classroom as a resource.  Provide students with an opportunity to experiment with different fonts and font sizes in their own informational writing.

For more information on print features and print layout, including a graphic organizer and mentor texts that use this craft, check out the October 2010 issue of The Reading Teacher.  I actually happened upon this article after writing this post.  Perfect timing for my issue of The Reading Teacher to come in the mail!

The Reading Teacher, 64(2), pp. 137-139

©2010 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

National Geographic Readers: Volcanoes! by Anne Schreiber

December Theme:  Nonfiction

A National Geographic Kids book that teaches children the basics of volcanoes.

I love National Geographic books, they are always so bright and colorful, as well as fact filled. National Geographic Readers: Volcanoes! is a Science Reader, Level 2.  It’s meant for students who read independently, but could be used as a guided reading book.  It has a ton of text features, and I would use it to explicitly teach students about text features.  I would tie it into a unit on earth materials.     

Lesson Idea: Text Features

National Geographic Readers: Volcanoes! is full of features and I would use them to teach students what they are for and how they are used.  Table of contents, labels, captions, photographs, illustrations, glossary, and bold print, to name a few, are located in this text.  In a guided reading lesson, guide students thorough a text feature scavenger hunt to locate the various features. When students are comfortable with text features, have them add text features to their own writing pieces.

©2009 by Dawn Little for Picture This! Teaching with Picture Books. All Amazon links are affiliate links and may result in my receiving a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you.

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