Text Features

Did you know that many middle school students' eyes often skip right over bold headings, italics, and text in parentheses? The very things that are being emphasized for importance are the features that students tend to ignore! And in their rush to get their reading done, students pass over helpful items on the page, like photos with captions, that are meant to support their comprehension.

Many students can become more effective readers simply by paying attention to text features. Explicitly pointing out (and having students use) text features when introducing a new reading assignment can have a great impact on their understanding of the reading. With consistent exposure throughout the year, students will come to know the term "text features," be able to list them, and understand how they help. Best of all, they will build the habit of using text features to deepen their comprehension and learning of the material.

Chapter titles
Section titles
Bold headings
Sidebars, cutouts, text boxes
Italics and bold print
Parentheses
Captions
Labels
Photos and illustrations
Diagrams
Maps
Graphs
Charts
Tables
Footnotes
Different text fonts, sizes, and colors
Table of contents
Glossary
Index
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