Text Structure

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Students will be able to define the structures that create text using graphic organizers and their interactive spirals.

Big Idea

Students become the architects of text! Can they find the design that works the best?

Advanced Organizer

7 minutes

To continue our study of nonfiction text I will have students thinking about structure, I asked the students to define the word "structure and framework".  Most students will define structure as a building or house; something that stands on its own.  I am anticipating that framework may be a little harder for them to define. 

I will allow the students a few minutes to think about and respond to the question.  I will have them write their response onto the next blank page in their spirals.  They will title the page "Nonfiction Text Structure." 

Once the students have had the chance to reflect and have a response, I will have them discuss their thoughts with their groups.  This will allow them to hear the thoughts of their peers and maybe deepen their understanding of the word.

Finally, I will facilitate a discussion on the word, eliciting their responses. 


35 minutes

Understanding nonfiction text requires us to understand the structure it is written in.  The author writes using a specific structure because of the purpose of their writing.  The students can deepen their understanding of text, if they can identify the structure text is written in. 

First, I will go through the first four slides of the Text Structure power point.  This will just review the basic definition for text structure and how authors use structure in their writing. 

Then, I will pass out the Student Note Template and have the students cut it out, color it, and glue it into their interactive notebooks onto the page titled "Nonfiction Text Structures". 

This process will take about 7 minutes, but is well worth the organization it will provide for the students. 

Once the students have the  notes in, I will display a blank notes template and use the teachers notes to give a brief overview of all the text structures.  This will provide a resource for the students to use as we go forward with learning about the individual text structures. 

I will briefly talk about each one, giving some examples, but really save the meat of the structures for when I teach them individually. 


Guided/Independent Practice

15 minutes

I will use Guided Practice to help students see the development of a topic using the structures. 

Now that the students have a general understanding for the structures used in text, I am going to have them try to work within the structures. 

To begin, I will have the students keep their notes out to use as a reference.  I will tell the students that we are going to use the topic of "Pets" to write a narrow topic for each organizational pattern or structure. 

I want the students to be involved in this process, getting them creating the topics.  This will help them understand the structures. 

First, I will write the five different structures onto the board.  Then, to get them started, I will say, "If an author wants to write a story about pets using the text structure of chronological order, what might his topic be?"  I will elicit ideas and develop a topic from there.  Some example topics may be:  The development of a dog from a puppy to an adult dog, or a story about an experience he had with a dog.  Once the students have the concept of what I am trying to do, I 'll go to the next structure of Cause and Effect.  Again, I'll elicit ideas, allow them to talk or discuss within their groups and then report out.  As a class, we will develop our topic using each structure. 

Finally, I will have students do the same exact thing, only this time on their own.  I will give them the topic of sports or music and allow them to chose.  Options really allow the students to feel more in control and can create less resistance to work. 

As the students are working and writing, I'll circulate through the room to check for understanding and provide guidance as needed.  


7 minutes

Text structure is a concept that is easy to remember in isolation, but when it comes to applying it, it can be pretty tricky.  I need to make sure the students have a good understanding for what the different text structures are and how they can be used.

I will have the students complete a Closure Slip today that will ask them to reflect on their learning.  I can use this as an assessment and drive my lesson creation for the future.