Saturday, July 26, 2014

Nonfiction Text Structures

Nonfiction Text Structures is one of the many topics we cover in 4th grade (as I'm sure many of you do).  It's a big standard to cover- and it is quite important on our state test.  This year I was looking for a new and exciting way to be able to teach the different types of text structures- a way that would not only be fun for the students, but also allow them to make meaningful connections.  I went to Deb Hanson's TPT store to see what she had to offer.  As you probably know by now, I am a HUGE fan of her craftivities (and so are my students!)  I found Deb's Nonfiction Text Structures Bundle and knew my search was over.  This bundle contains EVERYTHING you need to thoroughly teach Nonfiction Test Structures. 

I centered much of my whole group instruction on the Power Point that was included in the bundle. Each type of Nonfiction Text Structure was introduced and an example of that type of text structure followed on the next slide.  The Power Point contained nonfiction selections about soccer- this was a huge attention-grabber for my students (especially my boys!)  I love how the examples were things that my students could actually relate to- like the history of soccer, the similarities between soccer and football, and head injuries that can occur while playing soccer.  By the end of the week my students not only knew all of the Nonfiction Text Features, but they also knew more about soccer!  Here are some examples from the Power Point:


I introduced one type of Nonfiction Text Structure each day.  Once we covered a type of structure during whole group, we then moved onto the Nonfiction Text Structure Flipbook.  My students loved the little flaps at the bottom of the flipbook.  It made a really easy-to-use reference tool to refer back to throughout the week as well.  The flipbook contained passages for the students to use as guided and independent practice for each of the text structures.  The students were asked to read the passage, highlight key words that indicated the text structure, and then explain what made the passage an example of that particular text structure.  I love the accountability that comes with this activity- not only do students need to identify key words, but they also have to explain.  This really allowed me to assess my students' learning.  (Side Note:  This is how I chose to implement the flipbook, but there are multiple options for implementation.)

 To check out some examples of the passages included, check out the listing on Deb's TPT page

At the end of our unit, I had the students use the Nonfiction Text Structures Task Cards as a way to demonstrate their understanding.  Each student was given a task card.  They were asked to identify the type of text feature used in the paragraph and explain how they knew it was that particular text feature.

I had the students glue the task card and their explanation onto a piece of cardstock.  Then, I put all of the examples together to create this bulletin board:
I took the posters that were included on the Power Point and the completed task cards, and I created a tree map showing examples of the different types of Nonfiction Text Structures.  I also included two completed flipbooks on the outside corners of the bulletin board.  Here is a closer look:
These are just a few of the activities included in Deb's Nonfiction Text Structures Bundle.  There are also assessments and worksheets included in this bundle as well as a craftivity!  I can easily say this is one of the BEST purchases I have ever made on TPT- and my favorite out of all of Deb's resources. 
So, have I peaked your interest?  I hope so!  Head on over to Deb's blog, Crafting Connections, to see the giveaway we have put together for you :)
Have a great weekend,


  1. Thanks for writing such an awesome review, Amy! I love how you used the task cards and the PowerPoint slides to create the bulletin board display!

  2. These look great!! Non-fiction is always tricky to teach; I'm going to try these! I'm also a 4th grade teacher & new blogger. . . I love all the ideas out there!! Looking forward to following you!!