To introduce today’s lesson I show students a Non-Fiction Text Structure Chart. We have looked at this before in reading but now we are going to connect it to writing to help students develop their topic more effectively. I begin the lesson by telling students that all authors use techniques when they write and one of these is picking a text structure to share their information. Today, I tell students we are going to look at some of these and determine which we will use for our informational writing. As a whole group we take a look at the chart and go through it.
Using my smart board and a website I found that gives students explanations and examples of different text features, I direct students to take a look at what these structures look like in writing. Together we visit the website www.ereadingworksheets.com/text-structure/. This is not a worksheet site although you can get worksheets from the site, but it is an interactive site for students to learn about the different structures and then practice identifying passages under specific structures. To model, we look at the different videos that explain each structure and do a couple of the interactive activities for the structures.
Next, students go to the site at their work stations. My classroom has a desktop at each work station where students sit in groups of 4 or 5. They work together as a group to complete the interactive text structure quizzes that are available on the site. As students are working, I circulate the room and work with each group to take a look at what students are getting out of the activity. After working for about 10 minutes, I gather students back together as a whole group.
Now that we are together, I bring students’ attention back to their informational writings and we discuss which technique or structure we should use in our writing. We decide on Descriptive. Now we talk about how we will introduce and close our writing because we already have a body. This leads us into the last part of our lesson.
During this session of our lesson students are taking a look at the different types of introductions and closings authors use when writing. Students have learned about these previously so this is a review. Students have these in their interactive notebooks and are able to go back to them to review while writing. Students are working independently on a handout. They are looking at effective lead and closing techniques to write their introductions and conclusions. Students complete a similar activity from the guided practice where they are analyzing leads and closings. Then students work on practicing a lead and closing for their informational writing. When students are finished they are asked to turn and talk to their neighbor about their leads and closings. Students share their introductions and conclusions with their neighbor for feedback. Students are encouraged to make sure they are using the descriptive structure as they are writing. As students work, I circulate the room and conference with students who show they need more scaffolding and understanding of the structure of a text.
Once students are done, we come together to review what we did in class today. We have a brief discussion and I call on a few students to share their closing or lead. I collect students’ papers and review their work making comments and using their responses to determine conferences for the next lesson.