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In my experience, students have always shown an enthusiastic interest in nonfiction research, especially when it involves animals – and what better subject than sharks! I have several ideas for teaching nonfiction text features that I am sharing with you below including anchor charts, worksheets, report writing, discussion questions, and more… so let’s dive in!
Teaching Nonfiction Text Features
Exploring the deep sea depths of shark facts can be both educational and entertaining for kids. From whale sharks and great white sharks to horn sharks, tiger sharks, and hammerhead sharks, there’s a plethora of information to captivate young minds.
In my quest for suitable reading material that aligns with the right reading comprehension level and highlights essential nonfiction text features, I found it necessary to create my own nonfiction readers. Each printable reader includes the following text features: diagrams, visuals, a table of contents, glossary, index, bold words, captions, labels, and photographs – all tailored for a 2nd grade audience.
The Importance of Introducing Visual Comprehension
Introducing students to tools like diagrams and other visuals enhances their independence and extends their learning. Emphasizing the significance of diagrams and illustrations in reading is crucial. Visual aids, such as diagrams, provide summaries and illustrate complex processes, offering an efficient way to grasp the material. Not only do visuals aid in information retention, but they also cater to visual memory, improving learning outcomes by up to 400 percent. Harnessing the power of visuals stimulates imagination, allowing students the ability to process information faster.
Shark Reading Comprehension
Exploring the fascinating world of sharks through nonfiction research adds an exciting element to your learning experience. Accompanying each unit are engaging shark-themed crafts that bring a fun ocean theme to your classroom. This Shark Reading Comprehension Bundle dives into the specifics of hammerhead sharks, whale sharks, tiger sharks, horn sharks, and, of course, the great white shark.
I’ve incorporated all the essential nonfiction text features suitable for 2nd-grade readers into these units. If you’re specifically interested in these Printable Nonfiction Passages, you can find them separately in my store. Each shark unit is comprehensive, providing all the necessary supporting materials to teach text features effectively. This includes posters, worksheets, home connection materials, report writing activities, and more, ensuring a well-rounded educational experience.
The shark units included in this bundle are also available separately by clicking on the images below.
Shark Unit Learning Extensions
With the importance of visual learning on our minds, why not take a step beyond the text with fun in-class “field trips” with live shark cams! I have used live animal cams throughout units. They can inspire learning before a unit, re-ignite excitement during, and lead to fun learning connections after. I have listed a few shark cams below that you should check out:
End of Unit Activities
After immersing themselves in shark reading comprehension activities, creating delightful shark crafts, and crafting informative text reports, there are several ways to celebrate the newfound knowledge:
- Showcase students’ work using mini-easels during an open house walkthrough for families.
- Invite other classrooms, whether big buddies, little buddies, or the same grade, to witness and appreciate the students’ hard work.
- Facilitate partner reading of reports or summaries within the classroom, or organize group sharing sessions using a classroom microphone.
Reading Comprehension with a Purpose
This unit offers a wealth of possibilities. Whether taught as is or expanded into a full nonfiction research project, the key is to make learning engaging and purposeful. Guided Reading with a Purpose goes beyond reading, incorporating a multi-subject curriculum rich in reading, writing, and enjoyable art extensions. As you explore the diverse resources in this year-long curriculum, you’ll discover the true essence of guided reading with a purpose.
More Guided Reading with a Purpose activities for teaching nonfiction text features:
- Nonfiction Text Features Glossary and Bold Print – Penguin Research Unit
- Free Text Features Scavenger Hunt – Basketball Biographies
- Nonfiction Text Features Captions – Nocturnal Animal Activities
- Free Nonfiction Text Features Worksheet – Polar Animal Unit