Homophones Anchor Chart & Freebie!

By the time students reach the upper elementary grades, they often have a solid understanding of how homophones work. They might not be able to recite a quick definition, but hey, I have to pause for a moment whenever I hear the word homophone, too. Homophones, homographs, homonyms...you can certainly understand why these words are easily confused!

However, once you remind upper elementary students that homophones are words with the same pronunciations (or sounds), but different meanings and spellings, they can generally rattle off a string of them. That's why I approach this lesson a little differently than I approach most other lessons where I use an anchor chart.

Prior to the beginning of class, I create this "base". As you can see, I review the definition for homophone by relating it to our prior knowledge of the Greek roots homo, which means "same", and phon, which means "sound".
Homophone anchor chart for upper elementary students! Students write the other spelling of the homophone on the FREE handout linked to this blog post!
After a brief review, I tell students that I designed a challenge for them. I purposely chose a handful of somewhat-challenging homophones to include on this anchor chart. I will give them three minutes to see how many "homophone partners" they can list on their handout. (Click on the image below to download this for free!) For example, what is another way that you can spell "sell", that means something different than "sell"?
FREE Homophone handout! Students record the other spelling for each homophone on the line beside each word.
Once the three minutes have passed, I invite students to compare their lists with a partner and discuss their answers. I enjoy walking around the room and listening in on student discussions. I often hear students using the words in sentences and discussing the spellings of words.

After a few minutes, I ask random students to share their answers with me, and I record the words on the anchor chart. With each listed pair, I ask students to provide example sentences where each particular spelling would be used.
Homophone anchor chart for upper elementary students! Students write the other spelling of the homophone on the FREE handout linked to this blog post!

My favorite follow-up activity to this lesson is my homophone craftivity! As you can see, students are given text message screens where certain words are underlined. They must write a sentence on the other screen that uses the homophone's alternate spelling.
Homophone Craftivity!  Students use homophones in the context of a sentence to differentiate their meanings! Two versions- easier and more challenging!

Students glue their message screens to their phones in order so that when both screens are gently pulled back, you will see a new pair of homophones used in appropriate sentences.

Homophone Craftivity!  Students use homophones in the context of a sentence to differentiate their meanings! Two versions- easier and more challenging!

This craftivity includes a basic version and a more challenging version so that it can be used with multiple grade levels, or differentiated for students within one classroom. If you're interested in taking a closer look at it, click on one of the photos above to view this resource in my TpT store!

Read Alouds for Black History Month (with free printables!)

In the United States, February is Black History Month. This month is dedicated to educating Americans about the countless contributions African Americans have made to our country, as well as remembering the obstacles they've had to overcome throughout American history.

My favorite way to celebrate Black History Month in the classroom is to present read alouds. There are so many excellent picture books that would be perfect to read during February... I'm going to share two with you today. (This blog post contains Amazon affiliate links.)

Two incredible books that highlight important aspects of African American history. This blog post also contains a FREE printable that can be used as a follow-up activity for each book! Great for Black History Month or for any time of the year!


SIT-IN: HOW FOUR FRIENDS STOOD UP BY SITTING DOWN

A fabulous book about a student-led protest that took place during the Civil Rights Movement. This blog post contains a FREE follow-up writing activity, too!

Sit-In: How Four Friends Stood Up by Sitting Down is written by Andrea Davis Pinkney, and is illustrated by her husband, Brian Pinkney. It tells the story of the four young college students who, after hearing Dr. King's messsage, took a seat at the Woolworth's lunch counter in Greensboro, North Carolina. They ignored the restaurants segregation policy, and refused to leave until they were served. The book goes on to explain how word of the sit-in spread like wildfire, and soon there were sit-in protests happening across the country during 1960.

The author of this book uses a beautiful poetic voice. I like how some of the most important messages of the Civil Rights Movements are written in bold to really stand out.
Sit-In is a fabulous book about a key student-led protest that took place during the Civil Rights Movement. This blog post contains a FREE follow-up writing activity, too!

I created a simple follow-up writing activity that highlights a few of those quotes that are written in bold. Click HERE to download the writing worksheet.

Sit-In is a fabulous book about a key student-led protest that took place during the Civil Rights Movement. This blog post contains a FREE follow-up writing activity, too!


Also, I found this 4-minute video clip that summarizes how non-violence was key to the Civil Rights Movement. I suggest showing this video before reading the book to provide background knowledge.
Cut and paste this link to access a sharp image: http://www.voanews.com/a/nonviolencekey-to-civil-rights-movement/1737280.html

THE SECRET TO FREEDOM

This is a fabulous book that tells about how quilts were used to guide escaped slaves along the Underground Railroad. What a great read-aloud for Black History Month or any time of the year! This blog post contains a FREE test prep activity that accompanies this book.

The Secret to Freedom is by Marcia Vaughan. Although it is historical fiction, it is written like a personal narrative. The book is written in first-person as the narrator recalls visiting her great-aunt Lucy when she was 10 years old. The young girl asks her great-aunt Lucy about the quilt scrap hanging from the kitchen wall. That's when Great-aunt Lucy tells her story of growing up as a slave on a plantation in South Carolina right before the Civil War.

It's a heart-wrenching story, as she tells of how Lucy's parents were sold to a far-away plantation, and how her brother is tied to a tree and whipped for no good reason. It's also an inspiring story, however, as Lucy tells of how Albert arrives home one day with a sack of quilts. The quilts are sewn in such a way that they contain a secret code, as each pattern gives important information to slaves planning to escape along the Underground Railroad. Lucy hangs certain quilts on certain days, and the plantation owners have no idea what is happening on their property.

The ending of this story is very touching, and it reinforces the unyielding strength of family bonds. In fact, if I were reading this book to upper elementary students, I would definitely take a moment to determine the theme of the book after finishing the story.

I truly love the book itself, so when I found the Author's Note, it was an added bonus! The author's note gives additional details about how the quilts were used to convey messages to the passengers of the Underground Railroad.
The Secret to Freedom is a fabulous book that tells about how quilts were used to guide escaped slaves along the Underground Railroad. What a great read-aloud for Black History Month or any time of the year! This blog post contains a FREE test prep activity that accompanies the Author's Note at the end of the book.

The Secret to Freedom is a fabulous book that tells about how quilts were used to guide escaped slaves along the Underground Railroad. What a great read-aloud for Black History Month or any time of the year! This blog post contains a FREE test prep activity that accompanies the Author's Note at the end of the book.
The back cover provides illustrations that match the quilt patterns described in the Author's Note.


USING THIS BOOK AS A TEST PREP ACTIVITY

This blog post contains a test prep activity that can be used with the read-aloud book The Secret to Freedom. Use the author's note to model an excellent test-taking strategy!

In the school districts near me, teachers are preparing to take standardized test in late February or in March. When I read the author's note, I decided that it would provide a perfect ELA test-prep activity in which a teacher could model the best way to approach a reading passage on a test.

In the school district where I most recently taught, we instructed students that a good test taking strategy is to read the question stems first, highlighting the important words in the stem. This allows students to "read with purpose" because they know what information they should be looking for as they read. After reading through the question stems and determining the important words, our paper looks like this:

FREE TEST PREP PRINTABLE! This blog post contains a test prep activity that can be used with the read-aloud book The Secret to Freedom. Use the author's note to model an excellent test-taking strategy!
Click on this image to download this free test prep printable!


The next step is reading the passage, of course. For this modeling activity, I would think-aloud as I read aloud. For example, when I reached the section about the log cabin, I would say something like "Hey! I remember highlighting "log cabin" when I was reading the question stems. I'm going to highlight it here on the passage so I can refer to it easily when I am answering the questions.

After reading the entire passage, I would return to the questions and answer each one. I would also model how I would return to the text to justify each of my answers.

Would you like an opportunity to win these two books? Just enter the Rafflecopter! I will ship the book to the winner of each giveaway!



Finally, if you are looking for additional activities to recognize and celebrate Black History Month in your classroom, feel free to check out my partner plays! This set includes SIX scripts featuring the accomplishments of Frederick Douglass, Hank Aaron, Elijah McCoy, Ruby Bridges, Thurgood Marshall, Althea Gibson, and Jesse Owens. Click on the image to check them out!
Black History Month Partner Plays for upper elementary classrooms! Great for building fluency and recognizing the contributions of African Americans throughout history!


Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas: A Winter Mentor Text Lesson (FREE!)

Hello! Welcome to our winter mentor text link up! The book I chose to feature this time is Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas by Natasha Yim. This book, just published in 2015, is a fun spin-off of the classic Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Since this book is set during Chinese New Year, late January through February is a perfect time of year to share this book with your students. Full disclosure: this blog post contains affiliate links. :)
Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas- Mentor Text for comparing and contrasting! Includes three FREE printables!



A quick summary:
 Goldy Luck's mom hands her a plate of turnip cakes and tells her to take them to her neighbors, the Chans
. When no one answers the door, Goldy gives the door a little push, and tumbles inside, dropping her turnip cakes everywhere. When she wanders into the kitchen to find a broom, she spies three steaming bowls of congee. I'm sure you know where it goes from here... she also ends up in the living room, where she breaks Little Chan's rocking chair, and ultimately ends up in Little Chan's bed, fast asleep. When the panda family arrives home, they see that their house is in disarray, and they find Goldy asleep in Little Chan's bed. Goldy wakes up and runs from the house. BUT... it doesn't stop there. Goldy begins to feel guilty and returns to the Chans' apartment, where she apologizes and helps to clean up the mess she made. The story ends with Goldy and Little Chan making a new batch of turnip cakes, and Goldy being given a red envelope (which is a traditional Chinese New Year custom).

I LOVE THIS BOOK for so many reasons!! First, the author weaves countless Chinese New Year customs and traditions into this story. Second, it's soooooooo fun to read! Check out this line: "She plunked down on Mr. Chan's massage chair. Something hard steamrollered up and down her back. 'Ouch!' she cried, springing to her feet. 'Too rough.' "  Third, I appreciate how the author creates an alternate ending to the traditional tale, and has Goldy return to take responsibility for her actions. Fourth, the illustrations by Grace Zong are terrific! Finally, this book includes some extras, like a page of facts about Chinese New Year and a turnip cake recipe.

BEFORE READING

To begin, I'll ask students to raise their hand if they have ever heard the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. The majority of students will likely raise their hands, but there may be a few newly-arrived ELLs who are not familiar with the story. I'll instruct them to turn to a neighbor and work together to summarize the classic tale (and I'll remind them to use the summarizing fiction skills that we've learned earlier in the year)!

After allowing time for the partner discussion, I'll show my students Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas, and explain that I will be reading this story, which is a spin-off of Goldilocks and the Three Bears. While I am reading, it will be their job to listen closely and notice similarities and differences between this Goldy Luck version and the original Goldilocks story.

AFTER READING

After enjoying the book, we will use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas and Goldilocks and the Three Bears. I also created three worksheets you can use with your students. (The images below show the answer key versions, but when you download the packet, you will find the printables your students can write on.)

On the first worksheet, students write two comparing sentences and three contrasting sentences based on the Venn diagram that we just created.
FREE Compare and Contrast Worksheet to accompany the mentor text, Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas


On the second worksheet, students zoom in on the ending of Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas. They are asked to consider the author's purpose for changing it so significantly.
FREE Author Perspective Worksheet to accompany the mentor text, Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas

On the third worksheet, students compile a list of ways that the author added bits of Chinese culture into the story. I plan to read the book aloud a second time (I doubt I'll hear any complaints!!), and have students create this list while they are listening to the story a second time.
FREE printables to accompany the book, Goldy Luck and the Three Pandas
To download these three worksheets, just click on any of the three worksheet images shown above.

Thanks for stopping by! Before you leave, be sure to enter the giveaway. One lucky winner will receive all of the books shared in this linkup!! By the way, MY MYSTERY WORD IS FROSTY.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Also, be sure to hop around to my friends' blogs and check out the other books shared in this linkup!

Reference Materials... A FREEBIE!

I've been knee-deep in creating some reference material resources lately, so I decided to create some items to share with my blog followers!

If you've read my blog for a while, you know that I'm an anchor chart fanatic, so of course I couldn't pass up the opportunity to create a Reference Materials anchor chart!

This anchor chart is set up the same as the graphic organizer that's included in my free craftivity.

I envision doing the craftivity as a culminating project to conclude a study of reference materials. Each student chooses his or her own topic. After students choose a topic that interests them, they consider how they might use each type of reference book to research for a project, and/or write a report about their chosen topic. They jot down their ideas on the brainstorming paper. The photo below shows some completed papers.

When students finish brainstorming, they color and cut out the reference material images. They also write their chosen topic on their title box, and cut that out, as well.
Reference Materials Craftivity... FREE! Students explain how they would use a dictionary, thesaursus, atlas, almanac, and encyclopedia to research for/write a report on the topic of their choice!Reference Materials Craftivity... FREE! Students explain how they would use a dictionary, thesaursus, atlas, almanac, and encyclopedia to research for/write a report on the topic of their choice!

Finally, each student assembles his or her craftivity on a sheet of construction paper. 
Reference Materials Craftivity... FREE! Students explain how they would use a dictionary, thesaursus, atlas, almanac, and encyclopedia to research for/write a report on the topic of their choice!
Click on this image to download this free craftivity!
When students glue their books onto their sheet of construction paper, they only draw a light line of glue along the spine of the book. Then, when they place it on the construction paper, it creates a flap. After allowing the glue to dry for a few minutes, students gently pull back the flap and write a complete sentence on the construction paper explaining how they would use each individual reference book to research for a project or write a report on the topic listed in the title box!
Reference Materials Craftivity... FREE! Students explain how they would use a dictionary, thesaursus, atlas, almanac, and encyclopedia to research for/write a report on the topic of their choice!

My favorite thing about this particular craftivity is that each student creates a completely unique project in the end! Therefore, I think they could be used to create a great bulletin board or hallway display!

As I mentioned earlier, I envision this being a culminating project for the end of a reference materials study. If you are interested in checking out any of the other materials I created to introduce reference materials to my students, just click on the images below!
Reference Materials PowerPoint- 112-slide PowerPoint that covers the dictionary (along with guide words), thesaurus, encyclopedia, atlas, and almanac.
This 112- slide PowerPoint has enough material to last 2-3 class periods!
Reference Materials Task Cards! These 24 task cards cover the dictionary (along with guide words), thesaurus, encyclopedia, atlas, and almanac.

Dictionary and Thesaurus Worksheets! Includes guide words, pronunciation keys, and use entries from both reference books correctly.

Resources that Give Support to ELLs


Resources that Support English Language Learners- This blog post describes 4 strategies that are known to work with ELLs. Plus, examples of each are provided. Links to freebies, too!

English language learners have always held a special place in my teaching heart. Perhaps it's because my own grandfather, orphaned at the age of 9, immigrated to the United Stated without knowing a single word of English. My grandfather passed away when I was in high school, so unfortunately I cannot ask him about his experiences as an ELL in America. Whenever I meet a newly-arrived ELL, however, I think of my grandfather as a 9-year-old, and try to be the most compassionate teacher possible... the type of teacher I hope my grandfather had when he arrived to the United States.

When I plan lessons with my ELLs in mind, I focus on these two words: comprehensible input. Comprehensible input means that students can understand the information that is being presented to them, even if they don't understand every word in isolation. Therefore, comprehensible input does not rely on teacher talk alone, but almost always provides visual supports to accompany the teacher talk. When teachers use some sort of visual support as they are talking, ELLs are able to grasp concepts even though they might not understand every single word that the teacher said. Today I'm going to share examples of resoures that provide comprehensible input, and explain why they work with ELLs at certain levels.

#1- USE OF VISUALS

Which ELL levels do visuals benefit? They benefit all ELL levels, but especially Level 1 students.
When visuals are used, even students with very little English vocabulary can participate in activities. Let's use my nonfiction text feature foldable as an example. As you can see, a visual example is provided with each text feature presented. If you are leading your students in a nonfiction text feature scavenger hunt where students are perusing books trying to track down examples of each text feature, ELLs who have access to this visual-filled foldable can refer to it as needed, allowing them to participate fully in the activity.
Nonfiction Text Feature Foldable- An example of an ELL-friendly activity

#2- USE OF GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS

Which ELL levels do graphic organizers benefit? They especially benefit intermediate ELLs.
Graphic organizers help ELLs because they present written information in a visual format. When ELLs can see information presented in an organized and predictable fashion, their ability to comprehend the information increases signficantly. For example, when I teach students about informational text structures (which is a notoriously difficult concept for many upper elementary students), I rely heavily on graphic organizers. My PowerPoint, flipbook, worksheets, and craftivity all utilize the same graphic organizers.
Nonfiction Text Structure Craftivity- Nonfiction Text Feature Foldable- An example of an ELL-friendly activity that uses graphic organizers!


#3- USE OF STUDENT-FRIENDLY ANALOGIES

Which ELL levels do analogies benefit? They especially benefit intermediate ELLs.
When you think for a moment of the many academic terms being mentioned to ELLs during one school day, it's easy to understand why ELLs can become confused, and why long-term retention can be a struggle for many ELLs. In 2012, I created my first craftivity in an effort to help my students retain what they had just learned about author's purpose. I was co-teaching in a 5th grade classroom, and the students (both ELL and non-ELL) loved doing this activity. Best of all, I found that it was super effective in helping my students remember the five types of author's purpose long after the unit had been completed. So began my love affair with craftivities as effective teaching tools! It was hard to select just two, but I managed to choose two favorites to show you.
Main Idea Craftivity- An example of an ELL-friendly activity that uses a student-friendly analogy to boost comprehension and retention!
Using the ice cream cone analogy to teach main idea (shown on the cone) & supporting details (listed on the scoops of ice cream) provided my students with a concrete memory to attach to a somewhat-abstract academic term. To complete this activity, students had to match each detail scoop to the correct cone, and then glue everything together.
Themes in Literature Craftivity- An example of an ELL-friendly activity that uses a student-friendly analogy to boost comprehension and retention!
Before creating this craftivity, when I would ask students what the theme of the story was, a handful of students would stare at me blankly... even though we had covered the topic in-depth. After creating and completing this craftivity, though, that never happened again. I believe doing this theme-filled cupcake craftivity helped my students remember that theme refers to the hidden message of the story, just as creme is hidden within a creme-filled cupcake!

#4- Use of Cooperative Learning or Partner Activities

Which ELL levels do partner activities benefit? They benefit all ELLs, but for different reasons.
If you are lucky enough to have another student in the class who speaks the same language as a newly-arrived ELL, cooperative learning activities can be valuable because the one student can translate and/or clarify for the newly-arrived ELL. Cooperative learning activities are also powerful for intermediate ELLs. Many ELLs feel uncomfortable speaking up in front of the entire class, but a smaller group often seems less intimidating. In order to become fully proficient in a language, students need to be given opportunities to USE the academic language they are learning, and this is often best accomplished through a small group or partner activity.

My favorite resources to meet this need are my partner plays because they target so many skills. First of all, their primary purpose is to help build reading fluency. Since students are reading with one other person, they rarely get nervous about reading aloud, and they have plenty of opportunities to read and improve their fluency. Also, they feel comfortable asking their partner questions if they don't understand a word or phrase. After they are finished reading the play, the partners can often complete a follow-up comprehension worksheet together, allowing them many opportunities to converse while using academic vocabulary. (Note: Some of my 2nd/3rd grade sets do not include follow-up questions. Students can use this free set of questions with those scripts that don't yet contain follow-up questions.)
Partner Play Scripts- An example of an ELL-friendly activity that focuses on fluency and discussion.
This particular set also features the added bonus of integrating science content! When discussing answers, students have an opportunity to use academic science vocabulary.


If you'd like to try out a partner play and/or craftivity for FREE, click on the following images:
FREE Partner Plays to improve fluency! Scripts for 2nd through 5th grade students!  FREE Adjective and Adverb Craftivity


Feel free to check out my related Pinterest board full of other resources that give!

I'd love to hear any ideas you have for creating comprehensible input for your ELLs. Please comment below. Thanks for stopping by!

Resources that Support English Language Learners- This blog post describes 4 strategies that are known to work with ELLs. Plus, examples of each are provided. Links to freebies, too!

  

Notice and Note Signposts: FREE task cards with passages!

A few months ago, a teacher wrote to me and asked me to consider creating Notice and Note task cards. She said that her entire school district would be implementing these strategies this year. Because I was already intrigued by these signposts (ever since I ran across some photos on Pinterest!), this email provided the incentive I needed to finally order and read the book, Notice and Note: Strategies for Close Reading by Kylene Beers and Robert E. Probst.
FREE Notice and Note Posters and Task Cards! This blog post includes resources and passages to supplement the strategies outlined in the book Notice and Note by Beers and Probst.

In researching this project, Beers and Probst read and reread 50 of the most commonly taught novels in grades 4-10, looking for signposts- certain features that occurred in nearly every book across all fiction genres. The six features they identified are showcased in these free posters:
Contrasts and Contradictions- This blog post includes 6 free signpost posters and 12 passages!Aha Moment- This blog post includes 6 free signpost posters and 12 passages!Tough Questions- This blog post includes 6 free signpost posters and 12 passages!

Words of the Wiser- This blog post includes 6 free signpost posters and 12 passages!Again and Again- This blog post includes 6 free signpost posters and 12 passages!
After the signposts were identified, the authors crafted anchor questions that students could ask themselves once they spotted a signpost. These open-ended questions (listed at the bottom of my posters) require deep thinking, and they often call for students to dive back into the text to find evidence that justifies their answers.

Are you interested in introducing your students to these signposts and anchor questions? I highly recommend you read the book! In my opinion, it is well worth the money, as it contains 6 well-crafted classroom-tested lessons that you can use to introduce the signposts to your students! Beyond that, it was a very enjoyable read, and it even includes a 70-page appendix full of supplemental materials like reading logs, bookmarks, signpost printables, and book excerpts! Just click on this image (which includes an Amazon affiliate link) to check out the book.
Notice and Note by Beers and Probst: This blog post contains free supplemental materials to accompany these strategies!

After finishing the book, I created the following task cards. Just click on the image below to download them! My intention is for these task cards to be used as a review activity after all of the signposts have been individually introduced.

FREE Notice and Note Posters and Task Cards with reading passages! This blog post includes resources and passages to supplement the strategies outlined in the book Notice and Note by Beers and Probst.

This task card set contains 12 passages arranged as the task card shown above. Each passage is followed by a 2-part question. For Part A, students are required to identify the signpost that was featured in the passage. For Part B, students are charged with answering the anchor question that accompanies the signpost that they identified. (In their book, Beers and Probst stress that the anchor questions should become internalized, so that students are asking themselves the questions, rather than the teacher asking the anchor chart questions to the students. Therefore, I didn't include the anchor question in the Part B task. Besides that, it would give away the answer to Part A!)

I included an answer sheet, but please remember that the answers shown are only possible answers. As long as students write a plausible answer that refers back to the text, I will accept it as correct. Also notice that for certain passages, students might identify a different signpost. For example, for Task Card 7, I believe that "Words of the Wiser" is clearly the featured signpost. However, I realize that some students might identify it as a "Memory Moment". If this happens, I plan to tell these students that I know a memory is mentioned in this passage, but that another signpost is featured a bit more prominently, and I would ask them to reread the passage to see if they could determine which other signpost is featured.
FREE Notice and Note Posters and Task Cards with reading passages! This blog post includes resources and passages to supplement the strategies outlined in the book Notice and Note by Beers and Probst.

I hope you and your students are able to use these supplemental Notice and Note resources!
FREE Notice and Note Posters and Task Cards! This blog post includes resources and passages to supplement the strategies outlined in the book Notice and Note by Beers and Probst.

Thanks for stopping by!

Text Structures: A Lesson for Upper Elementary Students

Informational text structures... this was the ELA topic that scared me the most when I was coteaching in upper elementary classrooms. In fact, I wrote another blog post a couple of years ago describing how I decided to tackle the topic, and listing the three key components to include when teaching nonfiction text structures. (Click here to check it out.)

The purpose of this blog post is to share a complete text structures lesson with you. To be completely honest, I've received such positive, thoughtful feedback about my free character traits lesson, that I decided to create a similar text structure lesson for my followers, too!  If you read through this post, and decide that you want to try this activity with your students, be sure to click on the following image. Everything you need for this lesson is FREE! (Well, almost everything… you’ll have to provide your own anchor chart paper and clipboards! :))
Teach text structures with this nonfiction text structure anchor chart and FREE sorting activity! Ideal lesson for the upper elementary classroom that includes 8 free passages!

I would plan to do this lesson about halfway through my text structure unit. (I would show students my PowerPoint and work through my flipbook before this lesson would take place. By doing these activities first, students should have all of the prior knowledge necessary to fully participate in this review lesson.) I would prepare for this lesson by drawing the base of my text structure anchor chart (the rows and columns would be drawn, and I would have the left column already labeled). I would also have the passages printed, the interactive notebook copies printed, and the clipboards ready to go.

To begin the lesson, I would share the unfinished anchor chart with students and follow these steps:

  1.  Hold up one of the images, and ask students to tell me which row it belonged in. 
  2.  Glue the first image in place. 
  3.  Ask students to help me think of a guiding question for that text structure that I could place in  the middle column.
  4.  Instruct students to turn to a partner and list some of the signal words we have learned for that  text structure.
  5.  Tell students that I'm going to jot down a few of the words I heard mentioned during the  partner conversations that just took place, and do so beside the image (as shown).
  6.  Repeat the previous five steps with the other four text structures.
Teach text structures with this nonfiction text structure anchor chart and FREE sorting activity! Ideal lesson for the upper elementary classroom that includes 8 free passages!
The next component of this lesson includes these five clipboards. As you can see, each clipboard is labeled with the name of a text structure and its matching graphic. I also assigned a number to each clipboard.

Teach text structures with this FREE sorting activity that features 8 nonfiction passages! Ideal text structure lesson for the upper elementary classroom that includes an anchor chart!
The incredible text structure clipart is by Aim Less Daze.
Teach text structures with this FREE sorting activity that features 8 nonfiction passages! Ideal text structure lesson for the upper elementary classroom that includes an anchor chart!
I would tell students to listen carefully as I read aloud a passage. (I would also use a document camera to display the passages so my students could follow along.) Students need to match the passage to the correct text structure. To make sure everyone remains engaged, I would instruct students to display each answer by holding up fingers… 1 finger for description, two fingers for sequence, three fingers for compare and contrast, etc. After asking a few students to justify their answer (hopefully by using some of the language from our anchor chart), I would clip the passage onto the correct clipboard. Once all eight passages have all been classified, your clipboards will look like this:
Teach text structures with this FREE sorting activity that features 8 nonfiction passages! Ideal text structure lesson for the upper elementary classroom that includes an anchor chart!

Finally, I would have my students add the following clipboard images to their reading notebooks. Students can refer to the anchor chart as they write the guided question under each clipboard.
FREE Nonfiction Text Structures Interactive Notebook Entry! This blog post contains a COMPLETE informational text structure lesson with and anchor chart and 8 free nonfiction passages for your upper elementary students to sort, also!
(Notice that only the top of each clipboard is glued in place, allowing it to be flipped up and written beneath.)
FREE Nonfiction Text Structures Interactive Notebook Entry! This blog post contains a COMPLETE informational text structure lesson with and anchor chart and 8 free nonfiction passages for your upper elementary students to sort, also!

If you are looking for additional resources for teaching text structures to your upper elementary students, feel free to check out the following resources. The entire bundle shown below is currently priced at $8.99, or each individual item is available for purchase, as well.
Nonfiction Text Structure Bundle of Activities: Everything you need (and possibly more!) for 4th-6th grade text structure unit!

Thank you for stopping by today!