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! 



1 comment:

  1. Oh, I love this... thank you! So many great resources, I especially love the anchor chart! -Kristen

    ReplyDelete