Home Education What Are Textual content Options? Examples and a Instructing Information

What Are Textual content Options? Examples and a Instructing Information

What Are Textual content Options? Examples and a Instructing Information


As quickly as college students begin studying, they’ll encounter elements of a textual content that aren’t, effectively, textual content. The desk of contents, a photograph caption, and a glossary can all be useful for readers as they make which means, particularly in nonfiction textual content. Textual content options ought to make studying simpler, however college students do want instruction in the best way to use textual content options and follow utilizing them. Right here’s our information to textual content options, together with the best way to assist your college students navigate textual content options like consultants.

What are textual content options?

anchor chart

Instructing With a Mountain View/anchor chart through teachingwithamountainview.com

Textual content options are elements of a textual content that aren’t in the primary story or physique of textual content. They’re most typical in nonfiction texts and assist readers discover info shortly and get extra out of the textual content they’re studying. For instance, a photograph caption helps college students perceive extra about what’s taking place within the image, in order that they perceive that the photograph will not be of just a few outdated man on a ship, however of George Washington crossing the Delaware River. Textual content options additionally assist college students effectively navigate a textual content. A desk of contents or a glossary permits them to get to the part of textual content they need with out having to skim all the textual content.

Right here’s a useful video you possibly can share with college students:

Why are textual content options essential?

Briefly, textual content options assist college students get info from a textual content. When college students are ready to make use of textual content options, they will entry the knowledge they want sooner and simpler. If they’ve a query about what koalas eat, they will have a look at the desk of contents and don’t need to learn all the e book to study koala’s diets.

College students can have totally different ranges of proficiency with textual content options. Stronger readers use textual content options to their benefit. They’ll take a query or task and use textual content options to enhance their studying comprehension. Weaker readers, however, don’t use textual content options in the identical manner and will both learn all the textual content to seek out the reply to 1 query or get slowed down and overwhelmed.

The excellent news is college students can study to note and use textual content options.

Textual content Characteristic Examples

anchor chart of different text features

Explorations in Literacy/anchor chart through explorationsinliteracyblog.wordpress.com

Titles and Subtitles

Titles and subtitles (or headings and subheadings) give details about what a bit is about. In nonfiction, they might additionally give essential new vocabulary phrases that assist with understanding the which means of a textual content. Titles and subtitles additionally give details about how a textual content is organized. For instance, a textual content with a chronological construction could have dates in every subtitle to let college students know that they’re transferring by time.

Desk of Contents

example of a table of contents to teach text features

Rockin Sources/desk of contents through rockinresources.com

The desk of contents is there to assist college students see how a textual content is organized to allow them to go proper to the chapter or part they want. It additionally offers college students an thought of what they may study in every chapter. So, in the event that they’re skimming a desk of contents and spot that they’re keen on every of the chapter titles (say: The First Submarines, At this time’s Submersibles), then they’ll know that this can be a e book they need to learn, moderately than diving into the textual content and becoming bored or annoyed as a result of it’s not one thing they’re keen on in any respect.


A glossary is on the finish of a e book and offers details about what’s included within the e book by key phrases or ideas. A scholar can use a glossary to know vocabulary, and sometimes the place to seek out extra about that vocabulary in a e book.


An index can also be on the finish of a textual content, however it has an inventory of subjects which might be included within the e book and the place to seek out every. So, if a scholar is engaged on a report about pandas however has a e book about Chinese language animals, the index is an efficient place to search for the pages the place pandas are mentioned.


A sidebar is an informational textual content field exterior of the primary textual content. It consists of info that isn’t contained inside the basic textual content. Sidebars typically embrace options like graphs, charts, and timelines, which may be useful for placing info into one other kind for college kids to digest.

Photos and Captions

Photos present what the textual content is discussing, and captions assist college students perceive the context for these photos. Photographs and captions may give extra context a couple of subject.


example of a map as a text feature

Impressed Owl’s Nook/map instance through inspiredowlscorner.com

A map might help readers find occasions in a location or time frame. A map of how the troops moved from one nation to a different throughout a historic battle would assist readers visualize how the battle was progressing.

Study extra: Textual content characteristic lesson at Impressed Owl’s Nook

Labels and Diagrams

These permit readers to attach vocabulary with photos. Labeling the elements of a frog, or a diagram of a frog’s life cycle, places phrases to every part or half.

Charts and Graphs

Charts and graphs are a strategy to present information associated to one thing in the primary physique of textual content, and sometimes present extra info relying on the chart.

How To Educate Textual content Options

Textual content options, and the best way to use them, is a kind of literacy abilities that college students can shortly grasp, get good at, and use in any job they do sooner or later. College students want to note textual content options, follow utilizing them with help, after which follow utilizing them on their very own.

On this video, Susan Jones Instructing explains methods to introduce textual content options, like evaluating fiction and nonfiction textual content.

Listed here are 5 of our favourite methods to show textual content options:

Textual content Characteristic Stroll

A textual content characteristic stroll is sort of a image stroll, however for textual content options. Textual content characteristic walks may be achieved in any grade, and beginning within the elementary grades they assist college students get used to utilizing textual content options as a strategy to preview a nonfiction textual content. Previewing a textual content on this manner builds background data that college students then carry into the textual content to get extra which means from it after they’re studying.

Find out how to do a textual content characteristic stroll:

  • Select a textual content that college students have some background data on.
  • Give college students time to search for and identify textual content options in what they’re about to learn.
  • Have college students make predictions, questions, and connections based mostly on the textual content options they see.
  • If there are new phrases, notably phrases that college students could not be capable of pronounce but, preview them and have college students follow sounding them out earlier than they see them within the textual content.
  • After college students have seemed on the textual content options, have them learn the textual content and speak about how the preview impacted their comprehension.

Watch this instance:

Learn extra: Studying Rockets

Textual content Characteristic Scavenger Hunt

The very first thing college students do when studying textual content options is discover them. Classroom Nook supplies college students with a guidelines and a nonfiction textual content. Then, college students look by books and verify off the textual content options they discover. It’s essential, too, that college students understand that not all textual content options will likely be in each e book, and utilizing the guidelines with numerous texts will present them that.

Study extra: Classroom Nook

Sticky Be aware Textual content Options

Give college students a textual content and little sticky notes. Have them label the textual content options they see. You are able to do this lesson as a complete group first after which in small teams or individually. You’ll be able to even use this as a verify for understanding to guarantee that college students are capable of identify the important thing options in a textual content.

Create Dwelling Anchor Charts

If college students are all working with the identical textual content, particularly for an extended textual content, submit chart paper with the varied textual content options they may see. Then, have college students submit a sticky word with the web page quantity and why the creator included that textual content characteristic for every instance they arrive to.

Study extra: Candy Tooth Instructing

Educate the Why of Textual content Options

As you speak about textual content options in a textual content, additionally ask: Why did the creator embrace this textual content characteristic? The concept is that every textual content characteristic provides one thing to the reader’s expertise (a enjoyable reality in a sidebar that makes readers giggle, a map that reveals college students the topography of historic Egypt, for instance). This helps college students join textual content options to the larger image: studying comprehension.

What are your favourite methods to show textual content options? Be a part of the dialog and alternate suggestions within the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Fb.

Plus, try How To Incorporate Literacy Into Your Science Instruction.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here