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Scrubbing into Surgery with Ms. Howard's Class

November 22, 2021

Students prepare to scrub in for pretend surgeryStudents in Ms. Howard’s 4th grade class have been studying text features and the information they provide when reading a nonfiction piece of writing. On November 19, her classroom transformed into an operating room as students scrubbed in to perform “text feature surgery” to test their learning. 

Text features are components of a story or article that are not the main body of text, including the table of contents, index, glossary, titles, headings, bold words, sidebars, pictures and captions, and labeled diagrams.

To ensure students were ready and qualified to perform “text feature surgery,” 4th graders attended a mock medical school to review the purpose of each text feature and test their skills. Upon graduation, desks transformed into pretend operating tables as students disinfected their areas and "scrubbed in" for their first official surgery, sporting hair nets, masks, and gloves. 

Student reviewing text featuresThe learning activity included examining a patient's reading chart to determine what text feature could help each patient better understand the text or article. Once students found the needed text feature in a magazine, they cut it out and glued it onto the patient's chart to create a prescription. 

Following successful surgeries, students scrubbed out, cleaned their operating areas, and completed a post-op report to reflect on the day’s learning activity.

Through this creative learning activity, students have mastered the art of identifying text features within nonfiction articles and were able to imagine themselves as real-life doctors performing surgery. What a fun day for Ms. Howard and her team of young doctors!



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