Teaching Nonfiction Text Structures
Students identify the text structure of a specific passage after learning common text structures used in nonfiction.
- Grades: 1–2, 3–5
- Unit Plan:
This lesson plan will provide students with a strong foundation for reading, writing, and using nonfiction.
- Gain an awareness and general understanding what text structures are
- Learn what clues they can use to identify the text structure of a piece of writing
Step 1: Distribute the Text Structures Chart (PDF) and explain what text structures are and what clues students can use to identify text structures.
Step 2: Help students understand the importance of understanding text structure by explaining that a reader who is aware of the patterns that are being used can anticipate the kind of information that will be presented.
Example: If we know a selection follows a “compare and contrast” organization, we can expect to read about likeness and differences between people or things. This will help us connect ideas and remember them.
Step 3: Have students reread the "Stopping a Toppling Tower" article.
Step 4: Ask students to identify what type of text structure this selection is (problem and solution). Ask them, “How does the reader know?” They should be able to identify that the first paragraph states that there is a “problem.” The second paragraph states that engineers have found a “solution.” Which headings offered clues?