Close Reading: Cracking Questions About the Craft and Structure of an Informational Text

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SWBAT identify, determine, and analyze the way paragraphs are structured to impact their overall comprehension of an informational story.

Big Idea

Check out the author's craftsmanship when designing those paragraphs! Can structure really aid my comprehension of a text?

Lesson Introduction

Some people are just way too organized while others function well in organized chaos. No matter which way is right, an author must organized his thoughts and words in ways that bring meaning to all readers. No matter if we are reading a children's book, fiction, nonfiction, or poetry, it must be guided in ways to understand words, phrases, and even paragraphs of information. This lesson allows students to summarize information with the help of vocabulary words, a game, and finally a text that is organized through many structures. 

Bellringer: Defining Vocabulary Words

10 minutes

So what words will we see that can help us understand the structure of a text. Students will write a list of words in their notebooks: 

Author’s Purpose, Unfold, Point of view, Impact, Infer

The above words can help students get on the right path of discovering how authors focus on organizing a text. I give students the option to define the words using prior knowledge, a peer helper, or the dictionary. When time is up, I share the close reading skills vocabulary power point to discuss the correct definitions of each word. 

Guided Practice: Stop Gaming Around

20 minutes

Let's Play a Game! I just love playing games to review previous skills and concepts in the class. Since we have studied text structures earlier in the school year, this game will be a FUN way of review. The game will project on the board for all students to see. After the selection of teams, students pick categories for question and answer choices. Due to the short time for instruction, the first team to 100 wins. However, the game can be continued if time is available at the end of class. 

Independent Practice: Annotating to Understand Structures of Text

20 minutes

The purpose of this lesson is to help students understand how the structure of words in a text brings new meanings from beginning, middle, and end. To start this portion of the lesson, students read and annotate an informational text entitled The Glowing Beagle. As students read independently, they place the type of text structure along the margins. 

In the next stage of this comprehension, I bring the class together to identify each structure while summarizing through its structure the main ideas of the text. Here's a text structure handout that my students referenced when locating different structure types in a text. Check out my importance of text structures in The Glowing Beagle article video to see hear this discuss on how structure impacts students' comprehension of the text.