Spicing Up Text Structure

Not too long ago, I was teaching nonfiction text structure to my students. In reality, it can get a bit boring, and I felt I needed to spice it up a bit to engage my students.

 

Do you need to spice up teaching text structure in reading? I have plenty of ideas and teaching activities to make it easy!

First, I began by introducing all five text structures (problem and solution, compare and contrast, cause and effect, description, and sequence) to my students. I created a chart with them detailing what each type was, the signal words, and questions we ask ourselves as we are trying to determine a text’s structure. (See below- forgive my handwriting and messiness.)

Do you need to spice up teaching text structure in reading? I have plenty of ideas and teaching activities to make it easy!
After we discussed each type, I modeled on my whiteboard reading short paragraphs and sorting them into the correct categories. I did a think aloud about how I noticed that this text seems to be doing this and that.
Do you need to spice up teaching text structure in reading? I have plenty of ideas and teaching activities to make it easy!

 Then after I modeled it, I provided students in small groups with their own set of cards. (I actually used the small paragraphs in Deb Hanson’s Text Structure Craftivity, found here. Her craftivity comes with several different topics, such as butterflies, apples, and basketball. I used these to differentiate it as, I felt the paragraphs on apples were a bit more basic, while the paragraphs on bacteria were a bit higher.)  As I circulated, I was able to talk to students a bit more about how to use our class chart to help us better determine the text’s organization. (Due to copyright, I wanted to protect Deb’s materials, so there are squiggly lines there for that purpose. Her product does not contain that.)

Do you need to spice up teaching text structure in reading? I have plenty of ideas and teaching activities to make it easy!
After practicing a few times as a group, I eventually moved into individual sorts. I used the FCCR* text structure pages. I provided each student with a sentence strip, a copy of the FCCR* page of paragraphs to sort, and headings for each type of text structure. Then I had students cut them out, sort each paragraph under the proper heading, and glue it. I also used a variety of the paragraphs from FCCR*’s site to mix it up a bit. It may not be the most beautiful project, but it seemed to work.
*It appears that as of 10/31/16 (or even earlier) the FCCR site is no longer active. I have not been able to locate the site since it has gone down. Each time I go to it, it simply says “server not found.” I apologize for any inconvenience.*
Do you need to spice up teaching text structure in reading? I have plenty of ideas and teaching activities to make it easy!

After we explored text structure with just paragraphs, we moved into full texts by exploring various magazines that pile up in my room- Time for Kids, Storyworks, Scholastic News, so on.

I was very impressed with how well they picked it up and even now, when we aren’t focusing on text structure, someone will still point out the structure of the text we are reading. Those are the moments that you feel you did your job wonderfully!

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Do you need to spice up teaching text structure in reading? I have plenty of ideas and teaching activities to make it easy!

 

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Deb Hanson

    What a great way to use those passages!! Thank you so much for sharing my resource in your blog, Tammy! What an awesome surprise!

    1. Tammy

      I love all your stuff Deb. I use it often! ๐Ÿ™‚

  2. EB6986

    I went to the FCCR page to look for the paragraphs that you used on the sentence strips, but was unable to find them. Where can I get those? Love the idea!

    1. Tammy

      I am very sorry. I didn't realize I had linked you to the wrong set. I have put in the correct Link above. You will click on the hyperlink attached to the FCCR page. A pdf should open. When it does, they are pages 39-41. If that doesn't work, email me and I can email it to you. ๐Ÿ™‚ Thanks again! Have fun!

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