This is day eleven of a four week unit where students will first become familiar with the five Text Structures, then identify each of them in new text, and finally use each of them in their writing. In this phase of the unit, students have had exposure to the definition of Text Structures and have become familiar with each of the five types. Therefore, they are ready to try and identify them within new text. After defining each, this is the next stage of the scaffolding process: identification.
Connection: I always start by connecting today’s lesson to something kids have previously learned so that it triggers their schema and background knowledge. Since I introduced Text Structures at the beginning of the unit, I start by reminding them that Text Structure refers to how the information within a written text is organized. I do not refer back to the anchor chart, however, because I would like to test the kids’ knowledge first.
Teaching Point: This is when I tell kids explicitly what we will be working on. I say, “Our next step to become Text Structure experts is to use our schema along with our detective skills to identify the mystery Text Structures in today’s new text."
Active Engagement: This is where students get to try out the strategy that we are working on. I challenge students to not only name each of the five Text Structures but also describe them. I give them two minutes of thinking time and then tell them to turn and talk with their carpet partners for help if they need it. Then I call on a student that feels confident to share. (This is repeated from the previous day’s lesson to provide practice with naming and defining the structures. Call on a different student each day and by the end of this portion of the unit, most students will be able to complete this task.)
Link to Ongoing Work: During this portion of the mini-lesson, I give the students a task that they will focus on during Independent Reading time. Now that we’ve defined each of the Text Structures again, I tell students that I will be giving them a text to read during Independent Reading and they will need to identify which structure is used, along with evidence from the text to prove their answer.
Transition Time: Every day after the mini-lesson, students get 5 minutes of Prep Time to choose new books (if needed), find a comfy spot, use the bathroom, and anything else they might need to do to prepare for 40 minutes of uninterrupted Independent Reading.
Guided Practice: Today, I would be conferencing with students right at their comfy spots and asking them to share summaries from the book they are reading. This is also when I could pull students for assessments, one-on-one reading, strategy groups, or guided reading groups. Because this portion of Reader’s Workshop is meant to be flexible and student based, it is not beneficial to plan too far ahead of time. Instead, you should gauge which students may need extra support through the mini-lesson, prior assessments, reading levels, overall ability and need for scaffolding. For Text Structure support, I will read with specific students, either with their own books or a teacher selected book, and help them identify the mystery Text Structure and explain their thinking behind it with proof.
At the end of 40 minutes, I remind students that their job during reading time was to identify the mystery Text Structure in the assigned text along with evidence as proof. Once students gather at the carpet with their assignment, we discuss their findings. If the students came up with different answers and/or evidence, I lead a discussion so we can hear all perspectives. Sometimes, kids will see things that I don’t so I like to hear their thinking. I ask questions like, what did you notice and what cue words did you find to help you decide? What is the difference between Cause and Effect and Problem and Solution? I then tell them that we will continue our Text Structure work tomorrow. Reader’s Workshop has come to an end.