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Skill Overview

What are text features?

Text features are organizational elements of printed language that support meaning.  They include page numbers, table of contents, illustrations and photographs, chapter titles, headings, sub-headings, labels, captions, diagrams, etc. 

What tasks should students be able to demonstrate to indicate mastery of this skill?

  • Identify text features within a text

  • Describe each feature's function and the information it contains

  • Use these features to aid in comprehension

Why is understanding text features important to reading?

A student's ability to use text features helps strengthen their understanding of the text. Text features are used to help break down information and provide additional information or clarity about the topic or story being told.

What diagnostic can be used to determine if there are deficits in understanding concepts of print?

Structured Literacy Tools

Sequential and Cumulative

Systematic and Explicit

To Mastery

Basic concepts of print should be taught early, followed by text features after students have an understanding of how texts and print work.


The Concepts of Print continuum below organizes the cumulative progression of teaching students about how text and print works.

Modeling is the best way to teach text features.  When reading aloud to students, choose books that incorporate various text features, such as table of contents, illustrations or photographs, diagrams, labels, etc.  Point out the various text features and model how to use them.  Explain to students how they help readers understand the text better and what types of texts often use each feature.

Students demonstrate mastery of text features by their ability to independently and accurately identify the various text features and use them when reading.

Practice Resources

Downloadable Files From BRI Resources
Downloadable Files From Literacy Partners



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