Nonfiction Text Features Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has an Masters of Science in Mathematics and a Masters in Education

Use this lesson to teach your students about features found in nonfiction text. Then practice identifying nonfiction text features to have students gain an understanding of the purpose of these textual elements.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • identify nonfiction text features in varying text samples
  • explain the purpose of nonfiction text features
  • analyze nonfiction text features used in samples


  • 1 ½ hours


  • Several samples of nonfiction text (magazines, newspapers, books, etc.)
  • Chart paper

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.5

Analyze and evaluate the effectiveness of the structure an author uses in his or her exposition or argument, including whether the structure makes points clear, convincing, and engaging.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.7

Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.10

By the end of grade 12, read and comprehend literary nonfiction at the high end of the grades 11-CCR text complexity band independently and proficiently.


  • Hang chart paper in several places throughout the room; you'll be dividing your students into groups of 2-4, so you'll need enough samples and stations to accommodate these groups.
  • Label each piece of chart paper 'Text Feature' and 'Evidence.'
  • Show students a magazine article. Ask what features they notice (i.e. photographs, titles, headings, etc.).
  • Briefly discuss whether or not they've ever wondered about features of nonfiction text.
  • Next, read our lesson What Are Nonfiction Text Features - Examples & Overview together with your class.
  • As you read, refer back to the magazine article, noticing text features.
  • Ask:
    • Why do authors use text features?
    • What makes a text feature useful?


  • Divide students into groups of 2-4. Explain that they will visit stations, explore the sample text at the station, and make as many entries on the chart paper as they can in one minute, citing text features and evidence (page numbers, description).
  • Model with one group to clarify understanding.
  • After the minute is up, have students rotate to the next station and repeat the process. Students should not enter a text feature that has already been noted.
  • When all stations have been visited or students have listed all features, briefly discuss what they found. Ask:
    • What text features did you find often?
    • Which text features did you find not quite as often?
    • Which features are most beneficial to you as a reader?
    • How did the author use the text feature to enhance the text and help with comprehension?
  • Next, ask students to revisit the station with their favorite text features.
  • Have students make a 'Heads and Tails' statement together:
    • (Heads) Which feature is the most beneficial and why?
    • (Tails) Which text feature should the author have included or excluded? Why?
  • Share ideas with the class.


  • When reading nonfiction text in the future, refer to text features and discuss their role and importance.
  • Ask students to bring a sample of nonfiction they read often to school, like a favorite magazine or blog post. Share features of nonfiction.
  • Find an article without nonfiction text features. Have students create them and add them to the piece. Discuss how the features enhanced comprehension.

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