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Text Features PSA

Context for this Lesson

Teaching Strategies: 

Subject/Topic: Reading: Text Features, Fiction vs. Non-fiction

Focus Questions:

  • How can we use PSA’s to creatively inform an audience about text features and their relationship to fiction vs. non-fiction texts?
  • How do the text features relate to why we read fiction and non-fiction? 


Teach and play game version.

In Donkey we worked together to create some 3 person images. Now we are going to create our own 3 person images for the game to think about some of the differences between fiction and non-fiction. (Scribe answers to first two questions as you move through them.)

  • What are some of the features of non-fiction?
  • What do you think is the goal of non-fiction? Why would someone want to read a non-fiction book?
  • What 3 features do we think best represent non-fiction?
  • How can we use our bodies to represent those features?

Work with students to create the image from their ideas. Practice creating each part of the three person image. Then combine the elements to make the three person image and incorporate the image into the game. Repeat the process of questioning and image creation for fiction. Make sure to scribe the features and students’ thoughts about the goal or purpose.


Teacher in role

I have a friend named Randy who works in book publishing. He said he could really use the help of some creative people. I think he specifically said “sharp cookies”… He really wants people who know a lot about reading all different types of books. Do you happen to know anyone who might fit this description? When I put on this hat, I will become Randy, the wheelin and dealin book publisher from scholastic books.

Randy: I heard through the grapevine that you might be a couple of real smart cookies? The kind of people who read lots of books? Of all different types? What are the kinds of books that you read? Heres the deal, the scoop as they say in the biz. Have you ever heard of this thing called the ipad? Ok, well this whole technology thing is really messing up the whole book business. You see books used to have these things that helped you know where stuff is. Do you know what I’m talking about? Yeah, text features? You could pick up a book and be able to tell if it was fiction or non-fiction. Do you know what I mean? Look to board to review text features of fiction vs. non-fiction What kinds of things might you see in a fiction book? How about a non-fiction book? You really are a couple of smart cookies.

What is a PSA?

Well here’s the problem. All these people and their I-whatever gadgets. They couldn’t tell you a thing about text features. All they know are apps and icons. I was hoping you could help me create a PSA to help them get the facts straight. Something that they could watch on their I-gizmos to learn a bit more about these things we call books. Have you ever heard of a PSA before? It stands for Public Service Announcement? What do you think that might mean?

(Show PSA)

  • What did you notice?
  • What was the message of the PSA?
  • How did they show their message?

The goal of a PSA is to create public awareness and I want to create public awareness about different types of books. I want people to be able to pick up books and know how to read them. I want people to think about why they might want to read different types of books. Why do you think people might want to read a fiction or a non-fiction book?

Creating your PSA

We are going to break into groups and you are going to each create a PSA. You can use the worksheet to help you get through the process. What do you think someone watching our PSA should get out of it? Right, the message and important information. They should know how to identify books and what the text features are.

Rehearsal for filming Sidecoaching: Think about who you want in each shot. What do you want your audience to see? What is the action? You might draw a storyboard to help you think about what is happening in each shot.

Watching PSA’s Watch each PSA and use the following processing questions.

  • What happened?
  • What caught your attention?
  • What was their message?
  • How did they illustrate their message? 

Teacher in role
Thank you for all of your help today. I really feel like we have made some PSAs that will help readers know what to expect out of books.

  • What did we do today?
  • Who might read fiction? Non-fiction? Why?
  • Why do you think it’s important to have fiction and non fiction books?
Extensions/Applications : 


  • Put students into role and interview them as authors about why they write fiction or non-fiction. Or as editors who create text features. 

Possible Worksheet Questions for filming process

  • What is your message? What important information are you trying to get across? 
  • How will you show that message? What is the action? 
  • Who are the characters?
  • Create a storyboard and script for each shot.