Lesson: Non-Fiction Text Structures: Main Idea: Chronological Order (Lesson 2)

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Lesson Objective

Some texts have a sequence (chronological) organization. Authors use this organization when their main idea is about things that happened in order. You can outline this organization in a chain.

Lesson Plan

Lesson 2:

Standard:

Identify and use knowledge of the organizational structure of a text: main idea and supporting examples (web), chronological order (chain), compare and contrast (T-chart), cause and effect (chain), problem/solution (T-chart).

Use text structure to identify the main idea and supporting details in articles.

 

Big Idea:

Writers help their readers understand the text by organizing their text in logical ways so readers read non-fiction texts differently, depending on their structure.

Writers write non-fiction to teach the reader about one main idea.  It is the job of a reader to figure out the main thing that the writer is trying to teach you.  You can use the organizational structure to figure out the main idea in nonfiction.   

 

 

Teaching Point:

Some texts have a sequence (chronological) organization.  Authors use this organization when their main idea is about things that happened in order. You can outline this organization in a chain.

 

Materials:

Reading binders, highlighters and pencils, copies of Life of the Loggerhead (Cricket Magazine, October, 2009)


 

Reading Workshop Lesson:

  • Readers, yesterday we did a lot of thinking about the organization of a text.  [Review big ideas on the non-fiction chart.] We started talking about the first of the six organizations that we will think about.  We started by talking about sequence or chronological organization.  Why does an author use a sequence organization?  Right – when the author wants to show that the events happen in a certain order and that the order of events is important for the main idea.
  • Today, I want to teach you that you can use the organizational structure to help you focus on the most important events that support the main idea.  This text that we are reading has a sequence structure but it has a lot of other information in it as well.  But even with all the other stuff in this article, we know we need to stay focused on what happens next – because that is what is most important in a sequence organizational structure. This will also help you to write a clear, specific topic sentence for today’s writing prompt.
  • I am going to pass out a copy of this article to each of you.  The last page of this packet is blank so that you can make an outline of this article while I make an outline on this chart paper.  We are going to go back to this article many, many times during this unit so make sure that you are making a neat chain that we can look back at.
  • Before I make a chain, I will write the title, “The Life of the Loggerhead,” and then “main idea:” on the top line.  Then, I will skip some room so that I can add the main idea when I finish reading this article.  Do the same thing on your paper at the end of the packet.  When you finish, you can do a picture walk of this article. 
  • You will also be starting an open response about this article when we finish reading. I am going to put up the question so that you can find the supporting evidence as you read the article. [Put up OR topic.]
  • Okay, now I will start reading.  This is a tricky article, but I know that we can handle it if we work on it together.  I will stop throughout the article and we can talk about whether we should include important events in our chain outline. 
  • Read to them as they follow along:
    • First page – Let me stop here and think about what is going on.  It seems like the author started by talking about one turtle, probably to hook my interest.  After that, the author started talking about loggerhead turtles in general.  It seems like the first important event in this article about the lives of loggerheads is that the mother loggerheads return to the beach where they were born and lay eggs.  Let’s write that in our first box.
    • Second page – Read the next page.  Any important events in the life of a loggerhead after they are laid in eggs?  T&T.  Add to the chart: The eggs hatch at night and the turtles head toward the ocean by moving toward the light.
    • Third page – read two full paragraphs on that page.  Anything else important about the lives of loggerheads there?  T&T.  Add to the chart: The turtle babies swim east by swimming into the waves. 
    • Bottom of third page and almost all of 4th page.  Anything important to add that happens next in their lives?  T&T.  Add to the chart: The turtle babies use magnetism to swim into the North Atlantic gyre.
    • Last paragraph of 4th and top of 5th.  Wow!  In one paragraph, the author talked about the next few years of their lives.  It happened quickly, but we should write it down: Turtles spend a few years swimming in the gyre – migrating more than 9000 miles.
    • Read the rest of the article.  There was a lot of stuff in that part, but I want to focus on the most important thing – the life of the loggerhead.  In this part, the loggerhead females travelled back to the beaches where they were born by using magnetism.   
    • Readers, this article is a perfect example of how thinking about an organizational structure can help you understand the text.  This is a hard text with lots of information in it.  We knew from the title that this would probably be a sequence organization because in an animal’s life, things happen in order.  It wouldn’t make sense if this article talked about the turtle babies swimming through the waves before it talked about them hatching!  That would be totally confusing!  The stages in an animal’s life HAVE to happen in order.
    • So thinking about the organization helped us understand this because it helped us stay focused on the most important information. 
    • Now, we can use this to figure out the main idea.  Read through all the events on our chain outline and tell your partner what you think the main idea is.  T&T.  I heard many of you say this – the main idea is that turtles use different navigation tools during the stages of their lives.  It made sense to think about the stages of the turtles’ lives because that helps explain why the author picked a sequence organization.  If the main idea has nothing to do with time moving, there would be no reason to use a sequence organization.  
    • Let’s write that in our main idea space that we left on the top of this page.  And if you didn’t get that main idea, don’t get upset – this is the first day of an 8 week unit and we will make sure that by the end of the unit, everyone can find the main idea when an author chooses to use the sequence organization. 
    • Scholars, I know we covered a lot of material today and struggled with a really hard text.  Today we learned that we can use the organizational structure to stay focused on the most important things in an article.  This can also help you look for good evidence in your open responses, which are usually related to the main idea.
    • Now we are going to come back to our open response topic: How do loggerhead females…?” Take out a piece of lined paper from your binder, write the date and title of the article, then copy down this question. Every part of the question must be copied correctly. [Make sure that all students have copied question correctly.] Remember that in 4th grade, we are going to learn to plan in a different way that you’ve learned before. We will be using things like chains and webs to organize the important ideas in our texts, but we will not be using them in planning our open responses. For the first few days of reading workshop, we will go back to the article, highlight the evidence that best answers the question, and then write a clear, specific topic sentence that answers the question. Then, next week, we will write the entire open response. [Go over highlighter procedures and pass out highlighters. Have students go through and highlight the sequence of events that loggerhead females follow to get to the beaches where they were born. Share out. Then T&T to come up with a topic sentence. “Loggerhead females find their way back to the beaches where they were born in many ways” is NO LONGER AN ACCEPTABLE TOPIC SENTENCE. Come up with something like, “Loggerhead females find their way back to the beaches where they were born by following navigation tools.” Skip a line, indent, and write it down. Put lined paper back in the “Writing about Reading” section of their binders and put article back in the “Non-Fiction” section of their binders.]
    • Today, I want you to keep reading your new nonfiction article and think about whether it might be a chronological (sequence) organization.  I will let people share today if they have a sequence organization.  If you have a sequence organization, be prepared to tell me why you think it has that structure and how that structure helps you understand the text. 

 

Life of the Loggerhead

Main idea:  turtles use different navigation tools during the stages of their lives. 

 

The mother loggerheads return to the beach where they were born and lay eggs.

  

The eggs hatch at night and the turtles head toward the ocean by moving toward the light.

 

The turtle babies swim east by swimming into the waves.

 

The turtle babies use magnetism to swim into the North Atlantic gyre.

 

Turtles spend a few years swimming in the gyre – migrating more than 9000 miles.

 

The loggerhead females travelled back to the beaches where they were born by using magnetism.   

 

 

Lesson Resources

Lesson 2 Life of the Loggerhead Literal Questions.docx  
9
Lesson 2 Sequence Chain.docx  
4
Lesson 2 Non-Fiction Chart and Open Response.docx  
2

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