I don't know about you, but it seems like COMMON CORE is everywhere! There's definitely a buzz in education right now...and I'm sure your school is no different than mine. With the introduction of the Common Core, come a new set of standards that 48 states have adopted. Some standards seems repackaged, some standards revamped and "bloomed" up, some standards are just new and demand a whole new skill set of our students. As we begin the shift of moving towards having students read a 50/50 balance of fiction literature with non-fiction information text...it will be extremely important for us to teach our students to "know and apply" the features of 21st century informational text. Back in 2003, when I first read Debbie Miller's book, Reading with Meaning: Teaching Comprehension in the Primary Grades, and Harvey and Goudvis' book, Strategies That Work, I created a non-fiction conventions notebook to teach non-fiction features of text to my students.
Well, almost 10 years later, the teaching of these features is just as important, if not, more important considering we are asking our students (ALL our students, even our ELL's) to read and understand about the world through a wider and broader selection of print and digital media sources of informational text AND at higher levels with teacher support of informational texts in the grade level stretch bands. Hence, the inclusion of informational text features in the Common Core at grades 1.RIT.5, 2.RIT.5 and 3.RIT.5, of not only informational text features like captions, labels, headings, glossary, Table of Contents and so forth, but from digital and electronic informational text like, icons, hyperlinks, sidebars and electronic menus....ever heard of that one before? I know, right! I had to do my own research project on that one, too! In addition, "knowing and applying" informational text features in reading lays the groundwork for Common Core standard W.2, Informative/Explanatory writing. Students are expected to "write to inform", and "write to explain"...they must become themselves, writers of informational text, and are expected to know, apply and incorporate all the features of informational text in their own writing. In addition, students must have a good grasp of the features of both fiction and non-fiction because the Common Core standards asks them to compare and contrast fiction literature and nonfiction informational text. In addition, knowing and applying the features of informational text will greatly assist students when conducting mini research cycles that are also an expectation of the Common Core.
I want my students to know and apply as many features of informational text as they will see in their informational text reading, so I created a new and improved Nonfiction Conventions Notebook...now called "My Informational Text Features Notebook". It includes 28 informational text features, all of the ones named in the Common Core, and many others that are essential features that students must have under their RIT belt. In additional to the student pages that will comprise THEIR Informational Text Features Notebooks, I have created teacher cheat sheets for each feature, images to illustrate each feature and a poster set for each feature. (If you are limited on classroom wall space, you could laminate the posters, punch holes in the corner and create a class book out of them). If you too, don't want your students to be left in the informational text dust, check out my Common Core Informational Text Features Notebook HERE.
Here is a sample of what's inside...I don't think you'll be disappointed.
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