When I theme up a day, it’s because I need to amp up the engagement on a topic that isn’t the most exciting to teach or learn… and for me, that’s nonfiction text features. Teaching my students about a diagram, index, caption, and table of contents? No thanks.
That’s why I created a way to make it fun!
Prior to this day of fun, my students completed a variety of activities
from Amy Lemons and Katie King in their Rooted in Reading Unit on Sharks .
This is a great resource that had my students highly engaged in the learning
process. It laid a solid foundation for the activities that I created. Although it
is not mandatory to use their materials in order to complete these tasks, I
highly recommend this resource.
Baby Shark Nonfiction Text Features Song
If we’re learning about sharks, it’s now difficult to avoid the instant connection to the song Baby Shark. Instead of fighting it, I embraced it! I rewrote the lyrics of the song to teach about nonfiction text features.
Text features… help us read… and understand… nonfiction text
Is Baby Shark already stuck in your head? Sorry!
I teach one nonfiction text feature at a time. I sing the verse and then explain in more detail what that text feature is. I explain what it looks like, where to find it in a text, and how it can help you understand nonfiction text. Students repeat the words of the verse, and then they look for examples of it in their nonfiction texts. Then, we practice singing that verse of the song together. Repeat until you have completed all parts of the song. Finally, put it all together!
See it in action over on my Instagram page.
Taking a Bite Out of Phonics
Students search for their phonics patterns in reading passages. A few examples have been included, such as blends and digraphs, but you could do this with any reading passage you have and with whatever phonics pattern you are focusing on.
At this time in the year, we are working on comparing numbers. Classically, the “greater than” and “less than” signs are compared to alligator mouths… but why not a shark CHOMPing down on those numbers?!? So, we played the good ol’ fashion game of war to compare three digit numbers.
Diving for Text Features
While singing about text features to the tune of Baby Shark was the highlight of Shark Day last year, since then we’ve added something new– Diving for Text Features! Now THIS will have your students engaged in learning, talking about the functions of text features, and get them up and moving at the same time.
Students get a nonfiction text about sharks with nonfiction text features missing. The missing pieces are in “treasure chests” (or you know… boxes) throughout your gym or blacktop area. Students must use clues from the text and their knowledge of nonfiction text features to figure out what is missing. Then, they will go “diving” into the ocean to look for the missing text features. This means that they will ride out on their bellies on gym scooters and look for the missing pieces in the containers you already put out. They must bring back the self-correcting piece and glue it into the blank book in order to look for the next piece.
All of these resources, and further explanation, can be found in my TPT store here.
These are shark themed activities that were created to address 2nd grade
Common Core standards.
- ELA LITERACY.RI.2.7 : Explain how specific images (e.g., a diagram
showing how a machine works) contribute to and clarify a text
- ELA LITERACY.RI.2.5 : Know and use various text features (e.g., captions,
bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to
locate key facts or information in a text efficiently.
- ELA LITERACY.RF.2.3 : Know and apply grade level phonics and word
analysis skills in decoding words
- MATH.CONTENT.2.NBT.A.1 : Understand that the three digits of a three digit
number represent amounts of hundreds, tens, and ones; e.g., 706 equals
7 hundreds, 0 tens, and 6 ones.
- MATH.CONTENT.2.NBT.A.4 : Compare two three digit numbers based on
meanings of the hundreds, tens, and ones digits, using >, =, and < symbols
to record the results of comparisons.