Getting the Most from Text Features

213609-Text_FeaturesGoal 10 in The Reading Strategies Book tackles Getting the Most from Text Features.

The introduction provides a warning to teachers not to teach the identification of the these features but instead teach the use of them.  Text features allow readers to gain more information from the text but these features work differently as text difficulty increases.

Here is what Serravallo noticed about text features and text levels:

  • Levels A-N: photographs and illustrations carry a lot of facts and details (in the lowest levels sometimes more than the text).  The features reiterate the information in the text.
  • Levels O-P: text features begin to give MORE information than is in the text.  Students now have to synthesize what is in BOTH.
  • Levels Q-T:  text features have more text and become their own section with its own main idea.
  • Levels U and Up: Now readers have to understand how features relate to each other and the text.

Here is a comprehension continuum that Serravallo uses to identify what the reader is (or is not doing) with text features:

  • ignores features.
  • names feature.
  • names and states purpose.
  • explains what feature teaches outside of text.
  • explains what feature teaches in combination of text.
  • Connects the feature with the text and other features.

The chapter continues by providing 22 strategies to help readers use text features.  My favorite strategy lesson listed was 10.3 Reread and Sketch with More Detail.  This strategy is suggested for any level.  Not only does it promote rereading…it visually shows the reader why rereading is helpful.IMG_8004.

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