Lesson: Non-fiction Text Structures: Author's Purpose: Sequence Paragraphs (Lesson 21)

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Lesson Objective

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

Lesson Plan

Lesson 21:

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.  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.


Reading Workshop: Reading binders, pencils, class copies of “Exploding Ants,” pages 20-23

Read Aloud: Reader binders, copy of Exploding Ants, small post-its


Reading Workshop Lesson:

  • Readers, we’ve been learning about the purpose of paragraphs. We know that good authors organize each paragraph around one thing, one purpose, and that good readers have to understand what that purpose is. Sometimes a paragraph is meant to hook the reader, teach us the main idea of a section or article, or explain a sequence of events.
  • We are going to continue writing open responses about “Exploding Ants.” You are going to get your own copy of the section of “Exploding Ants” that we read last time so that you can highlight it for evidence that will answer this question. [Put up OR question.]
  • How many parts does this question have? (1)
  • Where am I going to find my evidence? [Notice that the evidence will come from only one of the sections.] Re-read and highlight evidence.
  • Come up with a topic sentence as a whole class. Write OR as a whole group, in small groups, or independently.


Read Aloud Lesson:


  • Readers, we have been learning that in all texts we read, every paragraph has a purpose, and good readers always know what the purpose of each paragraph is. Today, we are going to continue looking at the text structure and the purpose of the paragraphs in “Exploding Ants.” Remember the newest type of paragraph that we learned about – sequence paragraphs that explain events that go in order. We are going to practice noticing those today, in addition to the other paragraphs we’ve been working on.
  •  [Start reading “Sucking Blood.” Make predictions based on headings and pictures before starting each section. T&T to discuss the purpose of hook, main idea, and sequence paragraphs, and mark them with post-it notes.]
    • Sequence paragraphs include:
      • Page 24: “The life cycle, which can take months or years…”
      • Page 24: “The larva begins…”
      • Page 25: “After feeding and growing…”
      • Page 25: “The tiny louse uses…”
      • Page 26: “Vampire bats must share food…”
      • Page 26: “Once it finds a living, breathing blood supply…”
      • Page 27: “After five to seven years…”
      • Page 28: When the lamprey finishes feeding…”


  • Stop reading at the end of page 28. We will read “Getting It Down” next time.]


Lesson Resources

Lesson 21 Open Response.docx  


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