Text Structures & What I’ve Been Up To!

WOW!  I am ashamed to say that I haven’t posted here since November.  This school year has been one of the CRAZIEST years since I started teaching.  First of all, I had NO IDEA how difficult it would be changing grade levels.  I’ve taught 5th grade before, but the common core has totally changed things up!  And… I hate to admit it… but I kind of like it!  I love the rigor of the curriculum and the challenge it brings to my 5th grade students.  Then, we had to miss six days.  One day was because it was soooo cold!  The district was concerned about all the students that would be out waiting for buses without coats.  The other five were due to snow.  So, we’ve been having to make those up on top of everything else.  Fortunately, our spring break is this week.  Unfortunately, we have to make up two of those days before we get our three days off.  BUMMER!

Anyways, I have felt {REALLY} lost and all over the place this year.  I’ve changed things, added things, and taken some things away.  I’ll have to post more about all that later.  What I want to share with you today is the nonfiction text structure unit I finished up with my kiddos on Friday.  This has been my favorite unit by far.  I just love the resources I have found to go with it.  For this unit, I used these resources:

Lovin Lit‘s Interactive Reading Informational Text Notebooks
Teaching with A Mountain View‘s Text Structure Task Cards
Teaching with A Mountain View‘s Text Structure Anchor Chart
and this wonderful resource that I LOVE!
{I highly recommend this book!}
Just a little bit about this resource… it has a variety of text structures as well as reading skills.  Each skill has three differentiated passages to help you differentiate for your students.  I usually do passages #1 & #3 for my advanced students and passages #1 & #2 for my struggling students.  I teach two leveled groups, but I will have both varieties in each class.
and…
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To get the unit started, my students chose a topic and then thought of sentences that would be a good example for each text structure based on the topic.
We kind of went around so every group had a chance to add their sentence to the chart.  We then reviewed several of the examples and talked about whether it was a good fit or needed a little bit more information.  After we discussed a few good examples and some that needed work, the students took a sticky and wrote a
for each one.  A ‘GLOW’ is something the writer did well.  A ‘GROW’ can be kind of tricky.  We use the term improve.  What is a way the writer could improve their work?  This needs to be modeled for students so they aren’t so brutally honest 🙂
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We then started our anchor chart.  As we filled in our anchor chart together, the students filled their anchor foldable that is located in their binder.  The anchor chart idea came from Mary from Teaching with a Mountain View and the anchor chart foldable came from Lovin Lit’s file (above).  Here’s what our finished anchor chart looked like.
Along with our anchor chart and foldables from Lovin’ Lit, we completed the skills text marking activity from the resource book mentioned previously.  Here are a few of the examples.

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Once we reviewed all the text structures, the students were able to apply what they had learned by completing Teaching with a Mountain View’s text structure task cards.  These were so awesome!

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The students then used the resource from Jen Jones as an informal assessment.  In order for students to complete their mini-book, they had to complete the graphic organizer first without any resources.  Once we worked on that for a while, I allowed them to work with a partner.  Once time had passed, I then placed the anchor chart back up 🙂  Not to mention that I wanted them to finish it already!  
Here’s a peek at their mini-books.

Our 5th grade standard is to actually take the text structure beyond being able to identify to actually comparing/contrasting two or more text structures.  My students really struggled with this as they wanted to compare/contrast the CONTENT of the paragraphs.

I loved the triple Venn.  We actually used this in math last year, so some of the students were able to activate that schema to help them understand the layout.
To finish our unit, my students completed a final project.  I will share that next week as I still have a few who are finishing it over spring break.
I love teaching informational text.  It’s just fun to see the students grow with how they read informational text.

What are some of your go-to resources to teach text structures?

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Activities, informational text, non-fiction, reading
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1 Comment

  • Reply
    Karen Reedy
    August 8, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    I love what you have started in regards to textmapping. I also teach 5th grade. I started reading Close Reading for Informational Text this summer. I haven't gotten far. I saw your review of Falling In Love With Close Reading. I have already invested quite a bit in teaching resources this summer. Before I spend the $25 on this book how highly do you recommend it?

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