Monday, January 7, 2013

Expository Text Structures

Today was the first day back, but without the kiddos. My team and I spent most of the morning planning common assessments for our next reading unit - nonfiction expository texts. This is honestly the first time we've ever had the opportunity to sit down and plan out all of our concept assessments for a unit, and it was great! Here's a peek into what we'll be learning next:

Expository texts tend to be a trickier read for my kiddos. When it comes to narratives, they've got it down pat. They know there will be characters to analyze, a predictable plot to follow, and themes or lessons to be learned. But put an expository text in front of them, and they flounder. They are genuinely interested {usually} in the topic being addressed by the text, but they have a difficult time navigating the text itself.

Here's where text structure comes in to play. Nonfiction texts are not created equally, but they do have a few predictable patterns. Teaching my kiddos what to look for in how a nonfiction text is organized helps them tackle these complex texts. If you haven't had a chance to check out Beth Newingham's post about  text structure, do it now! She has some great resources and tips, including these awesome structure posters!

The Florida Center for Reading Research also has a ton of resources for text structures. There are numerous graphic organizers, a sort, and even a cheat sheet for your kiddos!

So here's the plan. By the end of this concept, my kiddos should be able to read a self-selected expository text, determine the text's structure, and choose an appropriate graphic organizer to track their reading and thinking. And for your planning pleasure, an editable rubric my team and I created during our productive day! Also included on the rubric is understanding of text features and why an author chooses to present information in this way.

Happy reading!


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