Organization In Informative Text

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SWBAT highlight organizational structures (introduction, conclusion and paragraph development) and features (categories and format) and apply them.

Big Idea

Putting the pieces together in a neat and organized manner. Let's hope!

Reading Time

10 minutes

Each day, I begin my ELA class with Reading Time.  This is a time for students to access a range of texts. I use this time to conference with students, collect data on class patterns and trends with independent reading and to provide individualized support.

Close Reading Review

10 minutes

As students have completed an independent close-reading of an informative text, the next step would be to monitor their progress. Since this is the first time they have analyzed such a text on their own, we need to review their work to make sure they have understood these concepts.

I quickly check their homework, which was to complete the questions following the helium article to see that it is complete but also to see if there are any areas that need to be focused on when I review the answers as a whole class. This time helps me to see what understanding may be lost.  I use this time as a way to formulate part of the lesson for the day and figure out which questions may need more review. This will depend on the class. Usually students can identify the answers and refer back to the text but the struggle is usually with the second part of the questions where students have to think deeper.

I pull up my answers on the Smartboard so students have a visual representation of the responses. This also helps students to see what that deeper thinking may look like. As a class we take apart each question and answer. I encourage students to revise their answers based on my own. Here are two examples of students doing that work: example one and example two. I ask for students to verbally compare their answers to mine for the class to hear. We discuss the importance of not just a right answer but of support. Students to get used to using textual evidence to support their answer so as they give me their answer I also ask them to show the class the evidence from the article that shows their answer.

Guided Practice: Organization

23 minutes
It is incredibly important to show models of writing and the writing qualities so students know the expectations and have an understanding how and why certain pieces are written the way they are. Students review organization in informative text as a way to work on their own informative writing. It is crucial to give them this specific practice so they have a way to focus on one area in their writing, specifically the Funky Elements project they are working on.
The lesson starts with a review of the questions on the Informative Text Powerpoint that focuses on organization, which is slide number three. The questions are:
  • How is the topic introduced? Is there a preview? Highlight if there is. If there is not, how does this affect the rest of the piece?
  • How is the piece organized? Categories? Formatting? Organizational structures? Highlight the different organization structures/formatting.
  • What graphics and multimedia are used? How do they aid in comprehension? What ideas are they supporting? Why? How?
  • Is there a clear concluding statement? If so, what is it? If there is, highlight it.
I review these questions modeling two different sources. The first is a book called The Elements by Dan Green and in this video I explain the source.  The second is a project completed from a previous student. The web-site can be clicked here and is on the element palladium. As a class, we answer the questions on organization using both those sources. I show them the sources and as a class we discuss them, specifically how the writers organize their pieces.  This gives students a guide into what informative texts will look like when they have been revised for organization.
With time permitting, students are able to then work on their project. As students are working on their projects it is important for them to keep this specific lesson in mind so they have a focus as they are writing and drafting.