This is day eighteen 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 remind them that a Text Structure is how the information within a written text is organized.
Teaching Point: This is when I tell kids explicitly what we will be working on. I say, “Today, you will do your writing for the Sequence portion of your very own Scholastic News. You’ve already planned your topic and now it is time to turn the idea into a high quality, detailed paragraph that is organized in a way that describes items or events in order. Here is my example. Keep in mind that my Scholastic News is going to be all about exercise.” Show my example:
Have you ever thought of running a marathon? If so, you will need to take the proper steps to prepare for the ultimate challenge of completing 26 miles. To train, you should first buy the appropriate running gear, like running shoes and clothing that can keep you cool on hot days. Second, start jogging and increase your distance every few days to build your stamina. Also, consider joining a running club so you can train with experienced runners. Next, sign up for the marathon by registering with the sponsoring organization so that you will stay committed. Finally, get lots of rest in between training and the night before the big run so that you will have the energy to finish the race. These steps will help you be successful in running your first marathon.
Active Engagement: This is where students get to try out the strategy that we are working on. I ask them to think about the idea they chose for Sequence and talk through what they will write with their partners. Then I call on a few students to share with the whole group.
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 talked through their idea, their job is to write it in paragraph form in their Reader’s Notebooks as a rough draft. They need to make sure to describe items or events in order within their paragraph so it matches the Sequence Text Structure.
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 craft their paragraph for the Sequence Text Structure if they need it.
At the end of 40 minutes, I remind students that their job during reading time was to complete a paragraph using the Sequence Text Structure about something related to their main topic. Once students gather at the carpet with their assignment, we share some of their writing. I then tell them that we will continue our Text Structure work tomorrow. Reader’s Workshop has come to an end.