We started by doing a text feature scavenger hunt. I set up a book walk in the classroom by organizing text sets and displaying them around the room (this was mainly so there wouldn't be a traffic jam in front of the classroom library!) Students were given time to explore all of the nonfiction books in the classroom, looking for different text features and describing them on their graphic organizers.
After the students became acquainted with text features, they created text feature books. We used Time for Kids, but you can use anything kid-friendly that can be cut up! Students find examples of each text feature, cut them out, glue them into their book, and define each text feature or explain how each text feature helped them understand their reading.
This was only part of a nonfiction unit being worked on by 3rd grade. Throughout the unit, students researched a specific topic, which they wrote about at the conclusion of the unit. They became expert authors and created their own books, complete with text features, to showcase the information they learned!
If you're interested in these activities, check out my nonfiction text feature resource, available in my Teachers Pay Teachers store. It includes 14 posters (full page and quarter page) with examples of each text feature, text feature scavenger hunt, text feature book, and the become a nonfiction author performance task. This is perfect for an alternative book report, writing workshop project, or as a performance task in social studies or science!