Teaching Informational Structure

After last year, I realized I need to spend more time teaching my students informational text structures.  I have spent time reading and researching to understand these structures because I had never taught it before beyond chronological order.

This year, I decided one way to incorporate this instruction was into an explorer inquiry unit.  As my students and I read a variety of text to build background about early explorers, we are re-reading texts closely to examine the structure.

Today we re-read a text about the Columbian Exchange to determine the structure.  At this point the students have been exposed to the following text structures: chronological, compare and contrast, and problem/solution.  I started by asking students if they thought the text was structured chronologically because all of the students feel the most comfortable identifying this structure.  There was a mixture of responses, but we launched into a discussion to figure out the structure.  We determined it was not chronological, so I introduced a new structure…description.  Most students caught on really quickly, but I think I would like to go back to the text or another text to create a visual of how a text is structured by description with my struggling readers.  I know that they need repeated exposure to new concepts.  I also think the visual will help these learners have a deeper understanding of the structure.

I will work with these students on Monday.

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