Lesson: Text Organization: Chronological Order

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Lesson Objective

Students will understand that chronological order is a way for author's to organize informational texts.

Lesson Plan

Connection (3-5 mins): Students should be seated on the carpet with a partner and readers’ notebooks (composition books).  Students will be expected to turn and talk to their partner as well as write in their notebooks during this lesson.  Yesterday we learned how to use the glossary to help us determine the meaning of words.  That was such a great way to help us gather meaning while reading. Today, we will explore how texts are organized.

Teach (10-15 mins):  One way that texts can be organized is in chronological order.  This means in sequence, or in order based on time.  For example, if I wanted to describe my normal day in chronological order I might say, I wake up, have breakfast, go to work, go to the gym, have dinner, and go to bed.  Did you notice that was in order based on time of day and when I do certain things?  Sometimes writers might organize a text in chronological order so we can easily follow the text, almost like a time line.  Many informational texts are organized this way.  As readers, it’s our job to construct a time line of events to better understand the material and how the events relate to each other. 

Watch me as I try this with the text, Lights, Camera, Action! How Movies are Made.  Watch me as I read the first part of the text and record the events in order like a timeline.  Teacher displays teaching chart with a line drawn across it similar to a timeline.  Teacher reads aloud from text focusing on the first three headings, On the Big Screen, Writing the Story, and Making a Plan.

Readers, I noticed that the writer organized this text in chronological order.  The author is writing about the steps it takes to create a movie in sequential or chronological order.  Reread the first sentence under Writing the Story.  The author tells me that first all movies start with a script.  This is the first step in on our timeline.  I will add that to our chart first. 

Teacher rereads aloud the first sentence under the heading Making a Plan.  I notice the writer used the word next to tell me after the script is written the producer plans the movie.  I will add the producer plans the movie to our time line after writing the script. 

Now it’s your turn to try.  Open up your readers’ notebooks and start your own timeline in your notebook.  You may add the first two events: writing the script and producer plans the movie to your chart.  Teacher reads aloud the next two sections.  Turn and talk with a partner to fill in the next two events on your timeline.  Students should talk to their partner to discuss what step comes next and add those events to their own timelines in their readers’ notebooks.  Teacher asks for students to share out responses and adds those responses to the teaching chart.

Teacher reads aloud the last two sections and students complete the same process.

Active Engagement (15-20 mins): Readers, you did such a great job understanding chronological order.  When you return to your seats today to begin independently reading I want you to pay attention to see if your text is organized chronologically.  Everyone should have sticky notes on their desks, when you come to a part of your story that is organized chronologically place a sticky note on that page.  I will be coming around to talk to you about what you are posting in your book.

Exit Slip/Share (3-5 mins): One form of assessment in this lesson is the teacher should conference with a number of students to ensure they are posting in their own independent reading books.  As a second form the teacher should pass out a chronological order graphic organizer.  Students should fill in on their graphic organizer events from their own books (the places where they put a sticky note).  The graphic organizer should look similar to the classroom chart to ensure students are familiar with the format.  It may be possible that a student has a text that is not organized chronologically.  If this is the case I often help students find a section in the book that is organized chronologically for them to focus in on.   

Reflection: I have found that students generally have a basic understanding of chronological order.  This lesson solidifies this understanding and sets students up to be successful in the following lesson where students are responsible for organizing a text chronologically.

Lesson Resources

Lights, Camera, Action Information Text   Activity
Chronological Order Graphic Organizer   Assessment


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