If you are new to This Reading Mama, WELCOME! I’ve just begun a nonfiction series. If you’ve missed the first few posts, here are the links, if you’d like to go back look at them:
- Nonfiction Re-defined (Nonfiction is so much more than that science textbook!) FREE PRINTABLE INCLUDED!
- Nonfiction Text Features: Part 1 (What are some text features of nonfiction? & Why are they important to the reader?) FREE PRINTABLES INCLUDED!
- Nonfiction Text Features: Part 2 (Reviewing text features/How do subtitles help me understand what’s important?) FREE PRINTABLE INCLUDED!
- Nonfiction Text Features: Part 3 (Using what’s important to determine your own subtitles/titles.)
- Before going through nonfiction text structures, my students had already spent some time with fiction text structure. Click here to see those posts.
- If you are not familiar with non-fiction text strutures, you can click here to see some background on them.
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Introduction: While many different people have opinions on how many text structures there are, I chose to keep it simple with my students. I used Scholastic’s handout on text structures to introduce it. I introduced them by going through each of the 5 text structures listed and had examples to show.
Here were my examples:
Sequence or Time Order- a recipe book, directions to playing a game, an autobiography or biography
Compare and Contrast- I had a couple of very old books comparing Whales and Dolphins & Alligators and Crocodiles
Cause & Effect- I found a TFK’s article that listed a clear effect and the purpose of the article was to find the cause
Problem & Solution- advertisements in magazines for products (having difficulty teaching your child to read; tutoring program or computer program that claims to “fix” the problem; medicines, etc.)
I explained that Cause & Effect and Problem & Solution are VERY closely related text structures.
We discussed this question: Why do these structures matter to us as readers?
- Because when we know what kind of structure to expect, it helps us as readers connect to and remember what we’ve read better; it also helps us when we want to summarize or tell about what we’ve read
- Example: If we’re retelling a text that has a sequence or time order, we want to make sure we summarize or tell about it in that time order. It wouldn’t make sense to tell a recipe to someone out of order!
Text for New Reading: Stopping a Toppling Tower
We started working on problem and solution right away!
Before Reading: Check out the text features in article. Refer back to your text feature hand-out to name them. Now, using the subheadings alone, which non-fiction structure did the author use in this article? (problem/solution) I had the students read only the Introduction and Problem with me.
During Reading: As you read, think about what is important to retell in each section.
After Reading: Tell me what’s happened so far in the article from just the Introduction and the Problem section you read. What do you think some possible solutions might be to the problem?
Extension (Independent Work/Homework): Finish reading Stopping a Toppling Tower; highlight the parts from each section that are important for telling someone about this article. The next time you come to tutoring, we’re going to work on summarizing/retelling the article based on the important things you highlighted.
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