Text Structures: Time to write – Description

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SWBAT apply their understanding of the Description Text Structure by using it to write a paragraph.

Big Idea

Continuing the study of Text Structures with a focus on writing


This is day seventeen 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.


10 minutes

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 Description 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 a topic, idea, person, place, or thing by listing its features and characteristics. Here is my example. Keep in mind that my Scholastic News is going to be all about exercise.” Show my example:


A fitness center, also referred to as a gym, is a place where you can go to do a variety of physical activities. After you check in at the front desk, you can head to the locker room to store your personal items such as coats and keys. Most gyms have an area where you can do cardio exercises on treadmills, stairsteppers, and stationary bikes. If you are interested in building muscle, you can head to the free weights area to lift weights of all different masses. Some fitness centers offer workout classes, where you can do yoga, kickboxing, dance, and core building alongside other members with the help of an instructor. After your workout, you might find a café that offers light meal options and healthy smoothies to keep your energy going. Find a local fitness center near you today!


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 Description 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 a topic, idea, person, place, or thing by listing its features and characteristics within their paragraph so it matches the Description Text Structure.



Guided Practice

45 minutes

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 Description Text Structure if they need it.


5 minutes

At the end of 40 minutes, I remind students that their job during reading time was to complete a paragraph using the Description 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.