This project was designed to assess students' knowledge about text features at the end of our text feature study. Using the common core as a guide and the nonfiction work from one of my favorite teacher authors: Beth Newingham, I taught my students about the many nonfiction text features. They each created a booklet of the nonfiction text features. You can find Beth's booklet and nonfiction work here: http://www.scholastic.com/teachers/top_teaching/2011/03/my-march-top-ten-list-nonfiction-reading-resources.
After completing their individual text feature booklets and sharing many nonfiction examples, I wanted my students to have an opportunity to apply their new learning. I also needed to assess their understanding of the nonfiction text features. I designed a project that allows students to write their own nonfiction book. I had each student pick a topic that he or she is an expert on so that there was very minimal research involved. This allowed students to focus on the nonfiction features. I did have them use a "recipe" to complete their books (see below). The recipe has them pick a certain number of text features to include in their books. Because there are many topics that can be used, I found allowing them to choose helped ensure that they would all be able to use applicable text features in their personal books.
You will find two scoring guides below: one for reading workshop and one for writing workshop. The students really put tremendous time and effort into these books so I felt they should be able to receive points in both reading and writing workshops. I've included rough draft papers lined and unlined. The unlined was used for text features. The final copy paper is held the landscape way so that it can be bound like a real picture book. I copied the final copy paper onto white cardstock. I find cardstock holds up better especially when shared with others. Students were able to select the type of layout they wanted as they wrote their rough drafts. When students were complete, I bound their books using a regular binding machine with binding combs but you could have just as easily stapled the books together. I hope this project helps complete your nonfiction study. My kids sure did love it!