Text structure acts as a road map for reading comprehension. When students understand the structure of the text, they know how ideas are arranged and know what to expect from the text. This knowledge then aids students in understanding the relationships of information within the passage. Making these connections is vital in comprehension and learning from information presented in the text.
Key words can signal the type of text structure the author is using, so students recognize the organization of information and relationships between ideas; however, students should also be able to make judgments about why an author chose a specific organizing structure. Students also need to be aware that an author may use more than one text structure in a passage.
- ReadWriteThink - fantastic resource for lesson plans and activities. Search by text structure and grade level for multiple ideas.
- Reading Rockets
- How to Teach Expository Text Structure to Facilitate Reading Comprehension
- Compare, Contrast, Comprehend: Using Compare-Contrast Text Structures with ELLs in K-3 Classrooms
- Reading (and scaffolding) Expository Texts
- Guiding Students through Expository Text with Feature Walks
Text Structure Resources:
- Teaching Text Structure and More - This PowerPoint offers a variety of great teaching resources and ideas.
- Text Structure Workmat from USD 259 allows students to put a paragraph or article in the middle of the mat and have a visual of all graphic organizers that might help them identify the structure of the text.
- Text Structure, Type, Features Poster from USD 259 helps students understand the difference between these terms.
- Text Structure Examples allow students to see how each structure looks using the same topic and allows them to try to write within each text structure after seeing the example
- Graphic organizers for all five text structures (description, problem/solution, cause/effect, compare/contrast, and sequence)
- Signal Word Chart - Nice one-page chart listing all five text structures and corresponding graphic organizers, definitions, signal words, and signal questions.
- Text Structure Master Chart - Two page chart that provides a great resource for teachers and handout for secondary students.
- Text Structure Paragraph Frames - Make a reading-writing connection using these writing frames: elementary, secondary
- These colorful posters were created by Becky Cox at Valley Center, Kansas USD 262. Included are posters for description, sequence, comparison-contrast, cause-effect, and problem-solution. Thanks, Becky!
Best Practices in Science Education
Informational Text and Young Children: When, Why, What, Where and how?
This article by Dr. Neil K. Duke discusses using informational text with young children. The discussion includes informational text, persuasive text, procedural text, and nonfiction narrative as well as vocabulary and authentic writing.