Lesson: Non-fiction Text Structures: Author's Purpose: Sequence Paragraphs (Lesson 20)

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Lesson Objective

Paragraphs have purposes. Some paragraphs are meant to explain a sequence of events.

Lesson Plan

Lesson 20:

Standard: Identify the purpose of common textual features (for example, title, headings, key words, paragraphs, topic sentences, table of contents, indices, glossary,  captions accompanying illustrations or photographs).

Identify topic sentences, supporting details, and elaboration in paragraphs. 

Determine the purpose of individual sentences and paragraphs and how they contribute to the text as a whole. 

Big Idea:  Writers use lots of evidence to support the main idea or theme.  These supporting details fill the text; they are found in every paragraph, all textual features, and all graphic features. 


Teaching Point: Paragraphs have purposes. Some paragraphs are meant to explain a sequence of events.


RW: Reading binders, pencils, copies of “Masters of Verse” and small post-its



Reading Workshop Lesson:

  • Readers, we have been learning about how authors organize paragraphs. We learned that every paragraph has one purpose – one topic that it is about. It is our job to notice that the author is moving on to a new topic and figure out what that new topic is.
  • Can anyone remind us of the two paragraph purposes that we’ve learned about so far? (T&T and share out – they should be able to explain that some paragraphs hook the reader and some paragraphs teach the reader the main idea.] Today, I am going to teach you that the purpose of some paragraphs is to explain a sequence of events. We have already talked about sequence texts – texts where the order of events matters to the main idea. But some articles have paragraphs that are only meant to explain events that go in order. We are going to read some texts from this year to find paragraphs to explain a sequence of events – events that go in order.
  • Open your binder to your “Non-Fiction” tab.  Some of the texts, like, “The Flight of the Vin Fiz” and “Life of the Loggerhead” are sequence texts, so I already know that most of those paragraphs are going to be sequential – they’re going to go in order. I want us to look at a text that is NOT a sequence text – the order doesn’t matter to the main idea – but there are some sequence paragraphs in it. Turn to “Masters of Verse,” the compare/contrast article about Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss. Sequence paragraphs can occur throughout a text, so we are going to read through the whole article. We’ll stop to notice paragraphs that explain a sequence of events. [Stop after “Dr. Seuss went on to publish more than 60 children’s books.] This paragraph talks all about the events that led to Dr. Seuss becoming a published author. These events go in order. If I mixed them up, they wouldn’t make sense. I know that the purpose of this paragraph is to explain a sequence of events in Dr. Seuss’s life, so I am going to annotate “sequence” in the margin next to that paragraph. [Continue reading, annotating sequence paragraphs like the one that starts with “Around the time Dr. Seuss’s first book was published…” and the one that starts with “When Where the Sidewalk Ends came out…”]
  • Today when you read, if you find that the beginning paragraph in your story or article catches the reader’s attention, or if you find a paragraph that teaches the reader the main idea or explains a sequence, then you may get a small post-it note and mark that.


Lesson Resources

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