This is day thirteen 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 apply each of them in their writing. In this phase of the unit, students have had exposure to the definition of Text Structures and have identified them within new text. Therefore, they are ready to write their own examples, which will be compiled into their very own “Scholastic News – Text Structures Edition” as a final product for the unit. After identifying each, this is the next stage of the scaffolding process: application.
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 they’ve been working on Text Structures for several weeks, I ask them to remind me what a Text Structure is, which is how the information within a written text is organized. I refer back to the anchor chart from the beginning of the unit to let the students know that throughout the week, they will be writing paragraphs using each of the structures around a theme of their choice.
Teaching Point: This is when I tell kids explicitly what we will be working on. I say, “The Scholastic News is a great resource to find information about important topics and examples of Text Structures and each of you will get to create your very own version of Scholastic News!” This would be most fun for kids to do with a topic they are very passionate about, which leads us to the active engagement.
Active Engagement: This is where students get to try out the strategy that we are working on. I ask students to think of a topic that they love and know a lot about that they would be able to write about in different ways. For example, I love to exercise and could write about many aspects of exercise. I give them two minutes of thinking time and then tell them to turn and talk with their carpet partners to share some ideas. Then I call on several students to share. Some topics that you can expect to hear are sports, school, vacations, food, candy, animals, etc.
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 they’ve decided on a topic, their job is to think of an idea to write about for each Text Structure, all related to their topic. For example, since my Scholastic News will be all about exercise, here are my paragraph ideas: Cause and Effect will be all about the benefits that you will find if you exercise on a regular basis. Compare and Contrast will explain the similarities and differences between yoga and kickboxing. Problem and Solution will be about the country’s obesity epidemic. Description will list features and characteristics of a gym or fitness center. Sequence will explain the steps to training for a marathon.
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 their topic of choice. I will help them decide on paragraph ideas for each Text Structure (if needed) and make sure they are approved for the work that will follow in the next several lessons.
At the end of 40 minutes, I remind students that their job during reading time was choose a main topic and then decide on paragraph ideas for each Text Structure that are related to their topic. Once students gather at the carpet with their assignment, we share some of their ideas. I then tell them that we will continue our Text Structure work tomorrow. Reader’s Workshop has come to an end.