Monday, April 4, 2011

Teaching Text Structure

Students are often required to identify the structure of texts on standardized reading assessments.  For this reason, it is important that they are exposed to the various patterns of organization: cause and effect, chronological, compare and contrast, order of importance, problem and solution, sequence or process writing, and spatial or descriptive writing.  Each text structure is fully explained at Ereadingworksheets.com.  Each pattern of organization can be represented using a corresponding graphic organizer.  So the first thing that I do when teaching students about text structure is define the terms and show how each graphic organizer relates to each term.  Later, when they are reading passages to determine the text structure, I will have them put information from the passage into the appropriate graphic organizer.  This has three benefits:  First, it generally causes students to work more thoughtfully on the activity since they are graphically representing text, not just be filling in blanks or circling choices.  Second, the activity has a sort of "autocorrect" feature where if the text they are analyzing does not fit into the graphic organizer, students should eventually identify that they are mistaken.  Lastly, the activity is both student centered and time consuming, so that they may take ownership over there work while freeing up time for your to work individually with students who require more assitance.  Teaching students how to identify text structure is beneficial to all parties.  Learn more about teaching text structure at Ereadingworksheets.com where there are worksheets, interactive practice quizzes, PowerPoint lessons, activities, and videos all available for free.

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