Lesson: Text Organization: Problem and Solution

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to notice and record multiple problems in an informational text using a graphic organizer.

Lesson Plan

Connection (3-5 mins): Students should be seated on the carpet with a partner.  They will be expected to turn and talk to this partner throughout the lesson.  Readers we have learned so many ways that authors can organize a text.  Can you remind me of those ways?  Students should response with chronologically, cause and effect, compare and contrast, and main ideas and details.  There are so many ways we can organize a text.  Today, we will learn the fifth and final way authors can organize a text.

Teach/Active Engagement (10-12 mins): Sometimes authors choose to organize a text using the problem and the solution.  A problem is an obstacle or an event that causes a person to be worried or unhappy.  For example, you might have a problem because you can’t find your school uniform, or you forgot your lunch money, or your car won’t start.  All these are examples of problems.  A solution is the way or how a problem is solved.  For our examples earlier a solution might be that you wear something else to school, you borrow money from a friend, or you call a mechanic to fix your car.  Sometimes authors choose to organize an informational text using problems and solutions.

Today we will use a problem and solution graphic organizer to help us understand what we read.  Teacher reveals a pre-created chart with the problem and solution graphic organizer (see attached).  Remember as we read we must monitor our reading to make sure we understand.  By recording the problems and solutions we notice in a story, we will have a better understanding of what we read. 

Watch me as I try this.  Teacher places the article, Stopping a Toppling Tower on the overhead.  When I first look at this article I already notice the author has organized the text using problem and solution.  The problem and solution are clearly labeled using headings.  Normally, articles won’t be so clearly marked but this is a great article to begin our study. 

Teacher reads aloud the first two introductory paragraphs.  Wow! I had no idea the Leaning Tower or Pisa was actually leaning.  That is a huge problem.  I am interested to see how the engineers were able to solve this problem.  First I must read the information under the problem heading to figure out what is the real problem with the tower leaning.

Teacher reads aloud the first problem in the heading.  I noticed that the first problem is that there are small earthquakes that can cause the tower to lean.  I will add that to our class graphic organizer.  Teacher reads aloud the second problem.  So already I have a better understanding.  The text tells me what the tower has a really small foundation because it’s so skinny, so the problem is that the tower is not stable or sturdy.  I need to add that to our chart as well.

Now it’s your turn to try.  Teacher reads aloud the third problem.  Turn and tell your partner in your own words another problem with the tower.  Students should discuss with their partner.  Teacher allows students to share out and charts those responses on the class graphic organizer.

Great job.  Let’s try the last problem.  Teacher reads aloud problem four. Turn and tell your partner in your own words another problem with the tower.  Students should discuss with their partner.  Teacher allows students to share out and charts those responses on the class graphic organizer.

You all did such a great job determining the problems in the article.  We are going to stop for today.  Tomorrow we will work on finding the solutions.  I think you are all ready to find problems in an article on your own.

Independent Reading (15-20):  Students return to their seats.  During workshop time today I want you to read an article about endangered species and fill out only the problem section of your own graphic organizer.  This article is a little more difficult because there are not clearly labeled headings with the problem and solution.  But I know you are all ready for the challenge.  If you finish early you may take out your informational “just right’ texts and read independently. Teacher may also choose to read this article aloud for struggling readers.

Exit Slip/Share (3-5 mins): Teacher should collect students’ graphic organizers to assess which students need remediation with this skill.  Students will also use this graphic organizer during the second part of this lesson the following day.  Teacher should allow students to share out some problems they noticed as another informal assessment. 

Reflection: This is the first year I have broken down problem and solution text organization into two different lessons over two days.  Structuring the lesson this way allowed students time to digest what they learned before adding in the solution to the problem.  As a homework assignment after the second lesson I generally assign a short paragraph with a problem and solution and ask students to put the two lessons together.  Since they have had two days of practice, the students did much better on the homework than in previous years.

Lesson Resources

Stopping a Toppling Tower Article   Reading Passage
Endangered Species Independent Work Article   Reading Passage
Problem and Solution Graphic Organizer   Activity


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