Lessons & Units :: The Story of Jackie Robinson, Bravest Man in Baseball 5th Grade Unit

Lesson 4: Text Features

Lesson Plan

The Story of Jackie Robinson: Bravest Man in Baseball | 760L

The Story of Jackie Robinson: Bravest Man in Baseball
Learning Goal
Use a text feature to find and explain facts in a text.
Approximately 2 Days (40 minutes for each class)
Necessary Materials
Provided: 50 Facts about Animals Handout, Facts about Animals Key, Featuring Text Features Handout, Finding the Facts Chart, Featuring Jackie! Worksheet (Student Packet, page 21)
Not Provided: Chart paper, markers, The Story of Jackie Robinson, Bravest Man in Baseball by Margaret Davidson
  • Before the Lesson

    Read Chapter 9: “Jackie Speaks Out: -Chapter 10: “The End Came Too Soon;” Complete Student Packet Worksheets for Chapter 9: “Jackie Speaks Out: - Chapter 10: “The End Came Too Soon”

  • Activation & Motivation

    Pass out the 50 Facts about Animals Handout to the entire class. Hand out the Facts about Animals Key to half of the class and instruct these students to keep the Key private from those who did not receive it. Ask the students to answer three questions about the facts on the 50 Facts about Animals Handout: 1) Where are the taste buds of butterflies? 2) What is a group of owls called? 3) Is a zebra black with white stripes or white with black stripes? The students who answer first should raise their hands and keep them up for the teacher.

  • Teacher Modeling


    will explain that the group with the key was sooner able to answer the questions about animals because they had a tool to help them figure out where to look on the page for the answer. A key is one type of “text feature” that helps readers find and comprehend information in a text. I will distribute the Featuring Text Features Handout and explain that a text feature is a device in a text that organizes and emphasizes information. Authors use text features to help readers find and understand textual details more easily. Text Features include indexes, maps, timelines, tables of contents, diagrams, captions, and photographs. In a biography, an author may include several text features to help the reader find and understand factual information in the book.

    Now that we have finished reading the book, we want to be able to find and gather information about Jackie Robinson’s life. I will model identifying and using text features to help us find and understand explicit information in The Story of Jackie Robinson, Bravest Man in Baseball. I will start by asking the question, "In what year did Jackie join both the Monarchs and the Royals?" I will write this question in the first column of my three column chart. Note: See the Finding the Facts Chart for specific examples.

    I will explain that while I read the book, I don’t remember any specifics about the year Jackie joined the Monarchs and Royals. Also, information about those teams is probably in different chapters. Is there a text feature that can help me go back and find the information to answer the question? I will look at my Featuring Text Features Handout and find the appropriate text feature to help me answer these questions. Since I am being asked about a date, one text feature I can use is the Timeline. I see that there is one at the back of the book, so I can look there. I will write this text features the middle column of the Finding the Facts Chart.

    I will think aloud as I examine the timeline. Joining two teams probably happened in the middle of his life, since he ended his career with the Yankees. I will look at the middle of the timeline. By scanning the timeline for clue words, I see that he joined those teams in April and October of 1945. In the final column of the Finding the Facts Chart, I will answer the question by summarizing the facts I found in the text using timeline.

    I will model answering the next question, “Who said, 'Stop Robinson!’ and why?” I will record my answers and the text feature I used to find it on the Finding the Facts Chart.

  • Think Check

    Ask: "How can I use text features to find information in a book?" Students can answer that you can look at what the question is asking and see if there is a specific text feature that might help narrow down where you should look for information. The table of contents and index can help you find information about a specific topic, while maps and timelines can help you quickly find important information in a text about where and when something happened.

  • Guided Practice

    will answer the next three questions on our Finding the Facts Chart: What were the four sports that Jackie earned letters for in college?, What was the “noble experiment”? On what date (day and year) was Jackie named “Rookie of the Year”?

    We will look at the question and our Featuring Text Features Handout to find the appropriate text feature to answer the question. For example, the question, “What were the four sports that Jackie earned letters for in college?” does not give us a date to look up on the timeline or clues found in the Table of Contents. Since it is about actions, we will look for a picture or illustration of Jackie playing many sports (p. 25) and write “Illustration” in the second column of our Finding the Facts Chart.

    We will interpret the information we found to answer the question. For example, we learned from the illustration that Jackie earned a letter for basketball, football, baseball, and track, because Jackie is dressed in the appropriate uniform for each of these sports in the picture. We will write our answer in the third column of our Finding the Facts Chart.

  • Independent Practice

    will use multiple text features to find information in the text about Jackie Robinson’s life. You will answer the questions on the Featuring Jackie! Worksheet in your Student Packet. You will be sure to include which text feature helped you find that piece of information. (See page 21 in the Student Packet.)

  • Reflective Practice

    will come back together and share the answers to questions about Jackie Robinson’s life. Ask: "How did students find the answers? Did using text features make it easier? What text features were not in this book?" We will discuss how some text features emphasize information, while others organize it. Can students classify and categorize these different types of features?

Build Student Vocabulary ambition

Tier 2 Word: ambition
Contextualize the word as it is used in the story When Jackie retired from baseball, “he gave a great deal of time to the Harlem YMCA, where he tried to teach children, as he said, ‘about self-respect, the meaning of ambition, and a hope for the future.’”
Explain the meaning student-friendly definition) Ambition means a strong desire to reach a goal. When Jackie says that he spent time teaching children the meaning of ambition, he means that he was trying to teach them to strive to reach their goals.
Students repeat the word Say the word ambition with me: ambition.
Teacher gives examples of the word in other contexts As a child, my ambition was to become a teacher. Her ambition is to become a scientist.
Students provide examples What is your ambition? Start by saying, “My ambition is _________________________.”
Students repeat the word again. What word are we talking about? ambition
Additional Vocabulary Words vicious, humble, timid, fortunate, deed

Texts & Materials

Standards Alignment

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User Comments

This is very helpful. Where can I find the Featuring Text Features Handout?


You can find the handout by clicking on "Direct Teaching and Guided Practice Student Handout" under the "Texts & Materials" tab.

Thanks for the great ideas.