I give my students the hand-out below which provides the headings for all the features I want included in an analysis of their text. First, we analyze newspaper articles both on paper and on the computer. And we apply these labels to different sections of the text. A social studies or math textbook also works well.
Then they write a non-fiction text on any subject matter they choose -but they have to get it teacher approved. I've had students complete books (aimed at young children age 5 -10 years old, on everything from tying their shoes to packing a lunch and playing their favourite video game. They have to them use their book as an artifact that they will analyze for my class.
Boy do they understand text features when this assignment is finished.
The Features of Informational Texts