Text Features (6.0)
Secrets from the Ice (one copy per student)
Planet in Distress (one copy per student)
Informational texts often have special features to highlight or explain important points or ideas. Three of these features are graphs, charts, and diagrams.
1. Give participants copies of the text.
2. Tell participants that text features help students comprehend informational text.
Text features may include maps, charts, graphs, time lines, tables, and diagrams.
3. Tell participants to scan the text and identify examples of text features.
4. Tell participants, “Graphs are drawings that show relationship between numbers
or amounts, often over periods of time. Graphs may show a change or trend that
is important to understand a point in the text.”
5. Ask participants to open Planet in Distress to page 6. Tell participants, “Look at the
graph at the bottom of the page. Examine the graph. What conclusions can you
draw from it? (The graph shows how global temperatures are rising over time.)
6. Ask participants to read the text on page 6. Ask, “What further conclusions can be
drawn from the graph?”
7. Tell participants, “Another text feature found in informational text is a diagram.
Diagrams are drawings or photos that show how things work or how they are
constructed. They are usually labeled and provide information important to
understand the text.”
8. Ask participants to open Secrets from the Ice to page 27. Say, “Read the text
caption, then examine the diagram. How does the diagram help you understand
the text?” (The diagram shows how the scientists use the layers of the Vostok ice
core in Antarctica to indicate climate changes over a period of 140,000 years. By
studying the color key, you can see at a glance how the temperatures in Antarctica
changed through the years.)
9. Ask participants to turn to page 17. Read the labels and caption aloud. Say, “What
information is gained from this diagram? How does the glacier fit inside the
10. Tell participants, “Charts are another source of facts in informational text. Charts are
tables with or without pictures.”
11. Ask participants to open Secrets from the Ice to page 7. Say, “The chart shows the
percentage of air at each stage as snow turns into glacial ice. At a
glance I can see that snow has 85 to 90 percent air, and blue ice has less that 20
12. Ask participants to turn to pate 11. Say, “What is explained by this chart? How does
it help you understand Agassiz’s theory of an Ice Age?”
13. Ask participants to recall the three text features. Using the text, ask them to create a
graph, chart, or diagram to enhance the information in the text.
CONTENT STANDARD 6.0 INFORMATIONAL TEXT
Grade Level Expectations
GLE 0701.6.3 Read, interpret, and analyze text features that support
State Performance Indicators
SPI 0701.6.4 Interpret factual, quantitative, technical, or mathematical
information presented in text features (e.g., maps, charts, graphs, time lines,
tables and diagrams.)
Secrets from the Ice, Planet in Distress (one copy each per student)
Assessment Activity Title:
Create a Feature
Description of Activity:
1. Discuss text features of informational text, such as graphs, charts, and
diagrams. Ask students to identify examples of these text features from
Planet in Distress and Secrets from the Ice.
2. Tell students that graphs are drawings that show the relationship between
numbers or amounts, often over periods of time. They may show a change
or trend that is important to understand a point in the text.
3. Have students open Planet in Distress to page 6. Direct their attention to
the graph at the bottom of the page. Ask them to examine the graph and
decide what conclusions can be drawn from it. After looking at the graph,
have students read the text on page 6. Ask what further conclusions they
can draw from the graph.
4. Next explain that diagrams are drawings or photos that show how things
work or how they are constructed. They are usually labeled and provide
information important for understanding the text.
5. Have students open Secrets from the Ice to page 27. Explain how the
diagram on this page provides important information to enhance the
information provided in the text. Next, have students turn to page 17.
read the labels and caption aloud. Ask students to explain the
information gained from this diagram.
6. Tell students that another source of facts in informational text is the
chart. Charts are tables with or without pictures. They present
information visually to help the reader understand the text.
7. Have students open Secrets from the Ice to page 7. Explain how the
chart adds to the information in the text. Next, have students turn to
page 11. Ask students to explain what is explained by the chart. How
does It help you understand Agassiz’s theory of an Ice Age?
8. Ask students to compare the three text features from the lesson. Using
a social studies or science textbook students will use the information to
create a graph, chart, or diagram to enhance the information provided.
1. Planet in Distress (graphs) Using the data on page 8, students create
their own graphs demonstrating how much sea levels have risen recently,
and how much they may rise in the future.
2. Secrets from the Ice (diagrams) Have students construct a diagram to
explain a concept in the book for which there is no diagram.
3. Secrets from the Ice (charts) Have students create a two-column chart
representing the scientists featured in this book and their theories and