Text Feature Surgery- A Classroom Transformation

Text Features is definitely one of my favorite things to teach and review with my kiddos! It's such a huge component of informational text. I make it my mission to have my kiddos become text feature experts by the end of the year. 
Not only is it important for them to be able to identify text features, but they must also be able to interpret them and understand why they are included in the text.
This year I introduced text features by playing the Flocabulary song: Text Features (If you are not a member of Flocabulary, I suggest you get on it! It's a website filled with rap song videos to match different skills across content areas. A couple of teachers and I split the cost of the membership and it has been totally worth it!)

Afterwards, I modeled reading a passage and identifying the text features in it. The students labeled the text features on their own version of the passage. We discussed the features and how they helped us better understand the text. 

The students then created a flap book with the definition of each text feature in their reading notebooks. 
The next day, the students walked into class to find a surgery room setup! I covered their tables with baby blue butcher paper and each student had gloves, surgical cap, and face masks waiting at their desks. 

This post contains affiliated links, meaning, if you click through and make a purchase, I may make a commission. This is at no additional cost to you.
Items I purchased:

I explained that it was time for Text Feature Surgery! Each student had a Text Feature booklet with a page for each feature. The students were asked to search through different magazines and cut out the text features and paste them on the correct page. 

I sent a letter home the week before the text feature surgery asking parents to donate a school-appropriate magazine for the activity. You can download the letter HERE

I searched "Heart Rate Monitor" audio on YouTube to set the mood. I told the kiddos that they had to be completely silent and concentrated on their surgery. Any little distraction might hurt their patient. ;) 

This was such a fun activity! My students absolutely LOVED it and it really helped them learn those text features! We review text features every time we read an informational text.
I decided to use some of their work as anchor charts around the class. They refer to these anytime we discuss text features. 

We also worked on sorting and matching text features using task cards. The kiddos had to match the feature name with its definition and an example.

You can send home these Text Feature 'Cheat Sheets' to help your students review at home. They can also be glued into their notebooks for easy access. 

At the end of the week I assessed them using this simple cut & paste activity. 

Teach Text Features DIGITALLY!

All of these resources are now available in DIGITAL format! The resource includes Google Slides versions of all of the activities in the pack. It also includes a set of Boom Cards where students must match the text feature name to an example and its definition.

All of these resources are part of my Text Feature Activity Pack

Try out this Martin Luther King Informational Text Passage for FREE 
(Other passages included in the full pack!)

I LOVE watching you all transform your classrooms! Don't forget to tag me at @SweetToothTeaching in any photos of your text feature surgery in action! 


  1. OMG! I LOVE this lesson. I cannot wait to do Text Feature Surgery after the holiday. What a great way to get your kids excited and engaged.

    1. Aww thank you so much! I really hope your kiddos loved it!

  2. Do you have the links to the Amazon products you bought? I just want to make sure I order something of similar size. thanks!

  3. This is such a small change to normal, everyday teaching when you think about it... but what a huge impact it must have! I am so happy I saw this in time for my nonfiction unit. I always seem to stumble across something cool AFTER teaching it! I'm totally psyched to try this. I just bought your resource and surgery goodies on Amazon. Thank you SO MUCH for sharing this! I am a die-hard Teacher's College/Reader's & Writer's Workshop fan, but I can easily pick and choose what I want to include in my lesson. I love this so much! Thank you!! My kids are going to be so engaged as surgeons when we come back from Thanksgiving break! :)

  4. I did this today with my students. They absolutely loved it. I thought they were going to lose it when I kept bringing out the gloves, then the hats, then the masks. I asked them if this was better than doing a boring worksheet, and they all yelled "YES". What a wonderful idea. Then at lunchtime they had to wear it all to the lunchroom. They said the lunch ladies would think they were one of them. So as we paraded into the lunchroom, the second graders and other third graders couldn't believe their eyes. I can't begin to express my appreciation for this idea. Everyone should try it. I took pictures and told them I was going to put it in the newspaper. Thanks so much.

    1. This makes me SOO happy! I am so glad your kiddos loved the surgery!

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