Writing Strategy: Text Features
Background Information
Text features include titles, headings, captions, labels, glossaries, table of contents, and indexes. Text features also include graphics: photos, sketches, drawings, charts, graphs, diagrams, maps, and more. Nonfiction text features not only help organize and present information in reader-friendly ways, they make the writing more interesting.
Teaching with Mentor Texts
Use Journey North News for mentor text activities:

1. Hunt for headings.
Have students work in small groups to collect headings from news updates. Challenge them to examine word choices and look for patterns. Discuss how headings work together to not only organize text, but also convey information and tell the story.

2. Create an anchor chart.
As students study different nonfiction pieces, start building a list of possible text features on an anchor chart. Have them share what they discover about text features on post-it notes that can be added to the chart.

3. Provide guided practice with sample journal page.
Use the sample journal page as a model for guided practice with text features. Have students read the headings on the journal and predict how they can provide clues to information in nonfiction reading selections.

Sample Mentor Texts

Headings as Text Feature:

Try it! Journal Activity:

American Robin Nest with Eggs