March 30, 2017

The RSB: Goal #10 - Supporting Comprehension in Nonfiction: Getting the Most from Text Features

Welcome to the discussion of The Reading Strategies Book! 

Today we have a guest post from the amazing Jimi! I am excited to get this discussion going. Enjoy~

Goal 10: Support Comprehension in Nonfiction

I am a proud Kindergarten teacher and I absolutely adore my class this year! They are super smart and very bright. They are like little sponges. But, like most kindergarteners, they struggled with nonfiction. That’s why this goal and the strategies that are in this chapter have become like a Bible to me. They have really helped me out when I was in a jam about how to support my angels with Nonfiction comprehension.

The chapter itself begins talking about why this goal is important-identifying text features is more important than knowing what they are. Speaking as a Kindergarten teacher, I know how important it is for students to be able to explain their thinking and not just read to just read.

Here are a few of my favorite strategies:

10.1 Make the 2-D into 3-D: I love this strategy! I am a big advocate for being able to use ideas and thoughts across subjects. Since we cover 2-D and 3-D shapes in Math, it is perfect to also cover in literacy. This strategy focuses on having students visualize and explain what they see and tell about the page using caption.  The teaching tip is also wise as well-focusing on modifying the language for young readers, ELLs, and students reading at a lower level.

10.5 Get More from Pictures: This is also one of my favorites because it focuses on strategies we already teach our child---look at the picture, read and think what is the same with both. I love how it takes it further and gives students the opportunity to share what they learned from the picture. This is a strategy that can be used with any reading level.

10.12 Don’t skip it! I love this strategy for two reasons. First, in the beginning, we always teach our kids in Kindergarten the strategy of Skippy Frog, which reminds students to skip a hard word and come back to it. Two, the Anchor Chart that goes along with it is great. The best part of this strategy is the teaching tip, which reminds us to teach our students to slow a reader’s pace down by looking at everything on page. This is extremely important with nonfiction because students need to fully understand how all the information goes together.

I could go on and on how much I love this section of the book and how much it has saved my life as a teacher.  The whole book has been such a lifesaver and I can’t wait to dig into the Writing Strategies one. Happy Teaching!


  1. I love both of those strategies! So many kids do skip things like captions and subtitles. It doesn't take that long to read a subtitle! And yet it helps with the comprehension. There is a thinking routine from the Making Thinking Visible book that encourages kids to look closely at pictures and get what they can out of it. It really does help them learn more, anticipate more, extend their learning, connect their learning, etc. I need to spend more time on this chapter, I think!

    1. I love the Making Thinking Visible book!

      Completely agree with you on captions, subtitles, ect. help the students understand the text so much more.

      I will admit that I used to be stuck on teaching kids the types of text features rather than how to use the text features to understand the text better. This goal has only reinfoced the change I made over the past few years. Teaching the use of text features is a ton more fun too!

      Crofts' Classroom

  2. And, I'm always surprised how kids (and adults!) often don't pay attention to the title of a book or the chapter titles, whether it's fiction or nonfiction. These titles and headings tell us so much that can add to our understanding of text.

    1. Yes! And the text boxes and captions often have facts not found in the paragraphs. They really do matter.