Lesson: Non-fiction Text Structures: Main Idea: Question/Answer (Lesson 15)

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Lesson Objective

Some texts have a question/answer organization. Authors use this when they want to ask a lot of questions that they think a reader would have and answer them. They often don’t have main ideas.

Lesson Plan

Lesson 15

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 question/answer organization.  Authors use this when they want to ask a lot of questions that they think a reader would have and answer them.  They often don’t have main ideas.


Reading Workshop: Reading binders, pencils, copies of “Ruth Fremson: Through the Camera Lens”  

Note: “Ruth Fremson: Through the Camera Lens”  is from the August 2009 edition of Highlights Magazine


Reading Workshop Lesson:

  • [Orally quiz on the organizational structures that we have learned.]
  • Today we are going to learn the last of the six organizational structures – question and answer.  Question and answer is the most obvious text structure.  A question/answer text structure is when a question is listed and then the answer is provided.  There is often not a main idea and there isn’t a good way to outline a question/answer text because the outline is really just provided by the questions.  Authors use a question/answer structure when they want to share an interview or when they want to write a lot of information in short bits instead of in nice paragraphs. 
  • We are only going to spend one day on question/answer because I think it is really easy.
  • Look at title and pictures and read the introduction; from this, predict what they think the interview with Ruth Fremson will be about.
  • Read through the article – since there’s no main idea, maybe just stop when students raise their hands to share questions and confusions. If students don’t raise their hands, then stop after every couple of questions to think aloud and paraphrase what we’ve learned about Ruth Fremson so far.
  • Readers, keep working on those outlines.  Please remember that I need an outline for every book before you change to a new one.
  • [Share – meet in partners and show your partner your outline.]


Lesson Resources

Lesson 15 Non-fiction Chart.docx  


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