Monday, November 29, 2010

What is Informational Text?

As we teach students to distinguish between fiction and non-fiction we need to understand that non-fiction is a broad area (just look at the Dewey Decimal System).  So I have begun to refer to content material as Informational Text.  The day I introduced informational text writing. I brought in about 30 different informational books that I like and let the kids explore. As they explored I asked, "What do you notice?" I began to generate a list.
  • title
  • author
  • table of contents
  • pictures
  • bold words
  • index glossary
  • color
  • vivid description
These are just a few things my students came up with.  Then we discussed the purposes of the text features.

The next day I had the following poster up (basically their list) and we reviewed the text features and the purpose.  The task at hand this day  was to locate at least 4 features of the list  in one of the informational books in the tub. They  made a t-chart as they browsed their book finding these items listed and identifying how it helps the reader. At the end I have students sticky note their favorite text feature in the book and share it in a sharing circle.

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