Nonfiction Text Features

When students are reading nonfiction, there are so many aspects to pay attention to. For instance, they have to remember that nonfiction texts focus on facts, real events, and real people. However, this can cause students to become confused as there is so much information to understand. Luckily, teachers can showcase how nonfiction text features help students improve their comprehension and confidence when reading. For example, nonfiction text features anchor charts are a great way to provide visual reminders. As students learn how the features help support the information in the text, they will become calm, confident readers! 

Nonfiction Text Features Anchor Charts

What are Nonfiction Text Features?

Nonfiction text features are the parts of printed material that help readers understand key ideas or concepts. Essentially, text features help draw attention to important details or points. Examples include bold print, bullets, graphs, headings, italics, and timelines. 

Challenges Behind Nonfiction Text Features 

While teachers know that nonfiction text features will help students understand the material, students have to believe it. They need time and practice using text features to see how they help improve comprehension. Otherwise, students will not buy into using text features as a great learning tool. 

While learning how to use nonfiction text features, students may need more support and guidance. Honestly, there are many different features to use, and students can feel inundated with information. Therefore, they have trouble paying attention to the different features and understanding their purpose. 

Benefits of Nonfiction Text Features 

Students will become stronger readers when they understand how to use nonfiction text features. Honestly, they allow students to have references, guides, and clues when learning about new topics. For instance, if students are learning about a new place, a map can guide where the location is. Or, captions can help showcase something happening during a volcanic explosion. There are many ways students can use text features to make sense of what they are reading on a deep level. 


Activities to Support Nonfiction Reading 

Thankfully, there are incredible activities to help students learn to use nonfiction text features. 

  1. Nonfiction Text Features Anchor Chart: It is SO helpful to have something to reference when working on text features. This resource has a large anchor chart for classroom display and smaller options for student handouts. Additionally, teachers can print it or load it for students to use digitally. Students will love having something to reference as they work on learning text features. 
  2. Text Surgery: Students will love feeling like doctors in this activity! Specifically, students receive a nonfiction text that contains different text features. Then, they go through and dissect the passage to identify different features and the purpose they serve. As a helpful tool, students can use the Nonfiction Text Features Anchor Chart when dissecting the text! This tremendous, eye-opening activity allows students to see why text features are so helpful. 
  3. Nonfiction Task Cards and Worksheets: This resource provides so much help for students when learning nonfiction text features! It includes 26 text feature posters for students to reference while working. Additionally, there are 24 task cards to help students apply their knowledge to specific questions. These task cards will be great practice as students learn to use and identify text features. 
  4. Nonfiction Text Feature Boom Cards: If teachers are looking for a digital option instead of printable, Boom Cards are the way to go! The text feature deck includes charts describing and showing text features. Then, there are practice cards for students to identify different nonfiction text features. To add rigor, students will progress from identifying and labeling text features to explaining why some are helpful. 
  5. Scavenger Hunt: When students learn about nonfiction text features, they need time to apply their knowledge. So, they can receive various nonfiction texts. Then, they can complete a scavenger hunt to identify different text features. As an added element, they can explain why the feature is within the article. This is a great way to ensure students understand the importance of text features. 


Nonfiction text does not have to be scary for students! While the text may be complex, text features are a helpful way to break down and process the information. Students will become confident readers when using the nonfiction text features anchor chart and the above activities! If you’re looking for resources for narrative non-fiction instead, click here.

If you do not want to miss any of the upcoming lessons, join my email list to be notified of all the interactive lessons coming up! By joining the email list, you will also receive FREE Figurative Language Posters for blog exclusive subscribers!  

I am Kirsten Tulsian, an elementary educator with 18 years of experience as a teacher and counselor. My passion lies in empowering students to discover their inherent brilliance through the use of engaging, rigorous, and meaningful activities. I look forward to connecting with you!

Latest Posts