Textbook Structures


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Learn about how the publishers of your history textbook use certain features to make it easier for you to learn and understand information.

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Textbook Structures

  1. 1. Making Predictions Keys to Unlocking Your Textbooks
  2. 2. Textbook Structures  Most textbooks have common features.  Strategic readers automatically consider how a particular text is structured in order to improve comprehension.  Becoming familiar with text features will help you be a better reader.
  3. 3. Let’s Be Information THIEVES  Title - What can we predict?  Headings - What questions do you think they will answer?  Introduction & first paragraph - Can you predict the main idea?  Everything you know - What background knowledge do you already have about his topic?  Visuals - What do the visual clues tell us?  End of Chapter questions - Can you predict what they will be by looking at summaries, bold-faced or italicized words, or sub-headings?  So What? - Why did the author write this? Why is the information important to know?
  4. 4. NB # - Textbook Features  Try to create a mental image of your history textbook.  With your partner, brainstorm a list of textbook features that the publisher uses to help you understand new information.  As we review the features, circle the ones you predicted correctly. Add the ones you didn’t get to your list.
  5. 5. Text Feature 1 - Chapter Titles  What will this chapter be about?  What do you already know about this topic? Text Feature 2 - Standards  What are you expected to know?
  6. 6. Text Feature 3 - Visuals  What kinds of visuals do you expect to see?  maps  charts  photos  captions  diagrams  timelines  What pictures are on the page?  What do they tell you about what you will be learning?
  7. 7. Text Feature 4 - Introduction  What will you learn?  What is the Big Idea?  If YOU were there . . . taps into what cognitive strategy?  What is the purpose of Building Background? Text Feature 5 - Key Terms What new vocabulary will you learn? Where can you find the definitions for those terms?
  8. 8. Text Feature 6 - Typography  How does the publisher indicate important words, terms, or ideas in the text?  Highlighting  Italics  Bold-face  Color  Font size  Font style
  9. 9. Text Feature 3 - Visuals Looking at Maps  How do you know what’s most important?  What is a legend? What information is it giving you?  What is an inset map? What is its purpose?  What is a compass rose? How does it help you answer the Interpreting Maps questions?  How does the map and its captions relate to what you’re learning?
  10. 10. Text Feature 7 - Reading Checks  Where do the Reading Check questions occur?  Why should you try to answer them? Text Feature 8 - Subheadings  What questions will the subheadings answer?
  11. 11. What Text Features are on this page?  Subheadings  Key terms  Visuals  Captions  Typography
  12. 12. Text Feature 9 - Skill Builders  Besides learning information about history, what skills do they want you to develop?  Why are those skills important?  How could they help you in other classes? In your life?
  13. 13. Text Feature 10 - Summary and Preview  What main ideas were you supposed to have learned?  What’s coming up next? Text Feature 11 - End-of-Chapter Questions  What does the red text indicate?  Where can you go to search for the answers?  How would pre-reading the assessment questions first help you as you read the chapter?
  14. 14. Text Feature 12 - Informational Tools  If you need to find information, where can you look?  Table of Contents  Glossary  Index
  15. 15. Remember . . . I can show you the tools . . . but you have to choose to use them!
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