Monday, March 24, 2014

Video :: Learn About Text Features!

Mrs. Yollis' class is learning about nonfiction

Nonfiction writing is based on facts, real events, and real people. There are many helpful text features found in nonfiction writing. Some common text features are:  headings, subheadings, captions, diagrams, time lines, maps, charts, and the glossary.

Below is a humdinger of a video made by Sheriff Yollis and Sheriff Salsich. They hope their video helps you greenhorns learn about about these important reading features!


Here it is on Vimeo if YouTube is blocked.

The Nonfiction Trail from Jonah Salsich on Vimeo.

 What are your favorite text features?

(Headings, subheadings, captions, diagrams, time lines, maps, charts, and the glossary.)

Share something you learned from a text feature! Add a hyperlink if appropriate.


  1. Dear Sheriff Yollis,

    Do you know who Ernest Henry Shakelton is? He was the first person to cross Antarctica by foot. He was an explorer, in 1914 he led an crew of people to Antarctica
    on his ship called the Endurance. They came across some icy glaciers and their ship froze in the middle of the Weddell Sea. Shakelton and his crew started camp on the Weddell
    Sea. One day, they heard the cracking sound of wood and saw that the Endurance had begun to sink. They waited a long time for the ice to begin to melt. As soon as it melted,
    they set off to Elephant Island, they endured storms, giant waves, and freezing temperatures. They finally made it to Elephant Island where they set up camp again, but this
    time Shakelton went with six crew members to go South Georgia Island to find land. As soon as they made it, they got two life boats and flipped them over and used them as
    shelter for sleeping and to stay warm. The next morning, they began climbing the giant glacier peaks to find a nearby village. With exhaustion, the crew climbed over the
    glacier peaks but they failed. Shakelton had a great idea, to climb the mountain successfully, they used rope to pull themselves up the glacier and got to the top of the
    mountain, where they saw the village and were finally rescued.

    I like Henry Shakelton because he was brave and saved his crew members.


  2. Dear Sherriff Yollis,

    We learned about sugar gliders and how they compare to a squirrel because we found a really neat chart ( They are similar because they both live in forests and they are both omnivores. An omnivore is an animal who eats both meat and plants. Other than that, they do not have much in common even though a sugar is sometimes called a flying squirrel.

    Some fun facts about sugar gliders and squirrels are that sugar gliders can live longer than squirrels but they have less newborn than a squirrel. The names of boy and girl sugar gliders are jacks and jills, but are called bucks and does in squirrels.

    Can you name any more facts about sugar gliders or squirrels?

    Your blogging buddy,


  3. Dear Sheriff Yollis,

    My favorite text feature is the map. I like the map because it is interesting to see all the different countries and towns all over the world. At home I have a globe of the earth. When I travel I look at the globe and find my destination. Then I look how far I have to travel to get there. Sometimes I have to cross the Atlantic Ocean. For example I go to Poland each year and fly over the Atlantic Ocean.

    Which Ocean is your favorite?


  4. Dear Sheriff Yollis,

    My favorite text feature is a diagram! I like this text feature because it takes you to a whole different place and gives you information about this particular place. Using diagrams you can even go underground! For example, you can go way down into ant colonies and way up into beehives!

    Earlier today in skills group, Chloe asked a question about text features and she said, "What would you call chapters in a chapter book? A heading?" In my mind I was thinking mini title, but Mrs. Ranny said that she thought you could just call it a title.

    Something that I learned from a text feature is that dates are headings. In certain books, they have dates. I never knew that thay were headings.

    Your pupil,

  5. Woof Sheriff Yollis,

    Ugg… Me’s English is lacking. I haven't been woofing it for a bark time. Please ignore some of the arfy language.

    Me and my woofy, Poppy, were on a cowboy-woof-adventure. We wanted to woof the cowboy. When we were on our woof, my woofy found a cowgirl. Poppy had no woof of what we could woof her, so we just gave her a dog bowl of woofer. She said that she didn't want to woof up some of the water that we woofed her, so we just gave up and left her awoof. Do you like my woofy Sheriff Yollis woof Sheriff Salsich?

    Now, my woofy's favorite arf is a woof line. It reminds him of the bark that our ancestors woofed us. They said that we had to keep it bark in a chest. So, we both dug barkerground and buried it. We told our woof, and she was bark at us. Now, we can't arf it out! It's lost!

    Anyway, my favorite arf is the woofary. It gives so much bark that I don't know which word is my favorite. Right now I am thinking of "woof", "bark", and "arf". I found those words in my book that I made. Sadly, there are only three words that need to be defined in the book, but I still want to share it with you.

    Woof Bark

    Woof bark woof arf, woof bark arf arf. Woof arf bark woof arf, woof Arf woof bark. Woof was woof arfed as Woofy, and Arf was arfed woof Arffy. Woof Arf!

    Ahh... What a great story that was! Now Heather will translate it for my fellow friends:

    Their Names

    Once upon a time, there were three dogs. Woof was one nickname, and Arf was the other. Woof was called Woofy, and Arf was called Arffy. The End!

    Now, back to arf features. My woofy wants to say that your bark really helped US. I don't think that is true because I already knew all of the arfs.

    As Sh♦yna woofed above, dates are woofings. Well... From my arf brain, I am thinking that they might be subwoofings. That is because the title is the woofing, and the dates could be the subwoofing. What do you claim, Sheriffs?

    I think arf features are very woofing, and even some arfs are on doggy treat wrappers! I bark it when Heather reads me the content of the wrapper. Most of the times, it tells what food it's barked out of, and I don't favor that very much. I just arf the flavor of it, whether it has lamb or chicken in it. It can even include cow, pig, and turkey. The beef is my favorite though. Sometimes, on the wrapper, there are subwoofings like nutrition. Most of the subwoofings are boring. My favorite one is the one printed on the treat, MILK BONES! Although they don't taste like milk, I like to carve a hole around the words, and then chew it off. Have you seen any arf barks on your wrappers?

    Your intelligent friend,

  6. Dear Mrs. Yollis,

    Yee-Haw! That was one humdinger of a video!

    I fancy the glossary, because they show you words that you may not know, and you can look at the back of the book to see what it means. For instance, I did not know what concur meant, so I looked at the back of the book and it told me. Concur be of the same opinion; agree.

    I concur with Shayna that sometimes they will have dates at the top of the page. Like in Trapped by the Ice, they show dates of when the page took place.

    To answer your question Nick, my favorite ocean is the Pacific Ocean because it starts with a P, and my name starts with a P, Peter!

    What is your favorite type of text feature?

    Your text feature loving friend,



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