Text Organization Teacher Resources

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Nothing aids in comprehension more than an explanation and understanding of why things are done. Address why the Common Core requires the reading percentages that it established and analyze how this affects your readers. Learners read informational pieces concerning the CCSS and discuss what they want to read, and should read in school. They also review the anchor standards for reading literature and informational texts, and decide on how it is best balanced. Adapt this resource for the specific issues in your class, and let the understanding begin.  
Get ready to teach a unit about community workers that uses Common Core literacy standards as a way to connect language arts and social studies. The packet is printable and contains teaching strategies, scripted activities, and performance tasks for reading and writing with informational texts. Children will learn about and discuss the role community workers play in their everyday lives, as well as explore the use of textual evidence in their writing and their speaking. Both the reader's and writer's workshops are broken down into comprehensive tasks by day. Worksheets, graphic organizers, web links, rubric, and standard rationale are all included.
As a summative assessment for this unit on colonial trade, fourth graders listen to and read informational texts in order to demonstrate their ability to take notes, write summaries, and draw connections. Young scholars first listen as the teacher reads aloud a text about a New York merchant, taking categorized notes on the information they hear. Next, students independently read a piece of writing about shipbuilders, once again taking notes using the provided graphic organizer. Finally, they use their notes to answer multiple choice questions, write a summary about shipbuilders, and write a paragraph describing the interdependence of these two trades. The lesson provides a complete assessment of the listening, reading, and writing skills developed by pupils during the course of this research-based unit.    
Although this is part of a series, lesson nine has your class take a break from their close study of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) text to read the firsthand account “Teaching Nepalis to Read, Plant, and Vote” by Lesley Reed. Though this text is simpler than the UDHR, your young readers will continue to use their close reading strategies as they read. Quickly review close reading strategies such as chunking, questioning, and annotating; modeling it with paragraph one. Next, allow your class to work their way through the rest of the article independently. As with all lessons in this unit, Lesson 9 contains some excellent prompts to foster discussion and to focus your pupils' thinking.  
Improve class understanding of colonial times by reading an informational text and filling out the accompanying graphic organizer. Class members work with a partner to read, take notes, make inferences, and synthesize information.The activity does not provide a copy of If You Lived in Colonial Times, so you will need to find the text. Since the series of lessons only uses parts of the text, you could probably buy one book and make a class set for your learners. 
This is a skills-based assessment that asks test takers to use textual evidence to determine the main idea of an excerpt from an informational text as well as respond to text-dependent questions. The assessment is the middle point in a unit, and pupils are asked to complete tasks that they have been practicing for the past few lessons. The assessment is provided; you will need to find the text on your own. A strong resource, designed for the Common Core, that will test skill development rather than memorization ability.
The first in a series of writing lessons included in a unit study of the Iroquois focuses on gathering information needed to craft a paragraph. Writers use the included four-square graphic organizer to record a topic sentence, details they plan to use, and a conclusion for their paragraph. Although designed specifically for this unit, the approach for crafting an informative/explanatory response can be used with any text. Also included in the packet are detailed directions for the plan, accommodations, and links to additional materials.
Young writers use the Iroquois Constitution as a model to help them organize their own class constitution in the seventh lesson of this unit. Using this historic text helps students better understand the structure of this type of writing, how each section has a main idea with supporting rules/laws. Young scholars then apply their learning as they work in small groups to categorize their own class constitution written in previous lessons. A great resource that assists the class in creating a meaningful piece of collaborative writing.
To practice identifying the main idea of a passage and identifying details that support this idea statement, pairs read together “Role of men and Women” from The Iroquois. In addition, learners are asked to draw inferences about what was important to these people. The packet includes complete directions for the activities and worksheets to help readers record and organize information. Although part of a complete unit, the procedures could be adopted to other informational text.
What was life like in colonial America? Follow this lesson and your pupils will find out what people in colonial times did for work and for fun. Ask learners to compare and contrast the two texts and explain what the reading helped them understand about colonial times by taking notes on details and inferences. Class members can synthesize the information through an activity called This or That, during which they move around the classroom and discuss their ideas with others. A very detailed plan. Texts are not provided; however, pupils only read short excerpts. Buy yourself a copy and make a class set.
Fourth graders tackle the close reading skill of learning how to find the main idea and details within informational text. A graphic organizer is provided to help learners navigate taking note-taking skills with the book, The Iroquois: A Six Nations Confederacy. Although the text of the book is not available, this plan includes great instruction on how to systematically lead a class through becoming efficient note-takers. This ELA lesson is part of a bigger unit that is designed to supplement the social studies curriculum for teachers in New York state. 
Mark the mid-point in the module with the authentic assessment described and provided here. The focus of the assessment, and the unit as a whole, is inferring using pictures and text. Pupils are given an image, a graphic organizer, and an article, and must use explicit details to support their inferences. After class members complete the assessment, have them reflect on their progress so far. The plan suggests providing extra reading for learners who finish early. That material is not included.
The outlining process has moved into the 21st century! Although this prewriting lesson is valuable on its own, it's really designed to introduce learners to Inspiration® software. Screenshots offer a visual guide to creating an outline diagram, utilizing symbols, links, and text. Learners reorganize ideas easily using the drag-and-drop function, and they can view their outline in different formats. This would work best as an anticipatory set before letting pupils loose with this program.
Middle and high schoolers solve a riddle about the appendix, and explore the paradox surrounding this organ. They research other human body organs to create a paper model of the human body, and write riddles highlighting identifying characteristics of each.
Let the synthesizing begin as your learners trace and explore thematic ideas through informational and literary texts that concern Ramses II and the fall of Saddam Hussein. Learners begin by examining an encyclopedia article concerning Ramses and progress to “Ozymandias” by Shelly, and an article from National Geographic of the same topic but of a different tone. Readers compare the three texts and finalize the persona of Ramses. They also develop a theme from the three texts. Learners connect the themes through a photograph of the fall of Saddam Hussein’s statue in a Bagdad city square. From that, they analyze hubris of the leaders.  Everyone in the class is challenged with argument and synthesis essays. 
Model for young readers how charts, graphs, diagrams etc., can help them interpret information found in nonfiction text.  Chapter 1 of The Iroquois: The Six Nations Confederacy provides the opportunity for direct instruction and guided practice exercises. Learners identify text features that help them understand the central message, use context clues to figure out the meaning of unfamiliar words, and practice their close reading skills. Although the introductory lesson of the second unit in a series of units focused on the Iroquois and the Six Nation Confederacy, the approach to interpreting informational text could be used with any nonfiction.
Work on identifying text structure with this thorough worksheet. After studying a diagram depicting six different text structures (compare/contrast, spatial, chronological, problem and solution, cause and effect, and order of importance/sequence), middle schoolers read 11 passages, determine the text structure, and put the text into the appropriate graphic organizer. Use this lesson to work on comparing and contrasting text structures. What does each provide? What is the purpose of each?
In this reading comprehension lesson, 5th graders read the text, "Lights, Camera, Action". Students assess how to determine chronological order in a text. Students form a timeline of how a movie is made by utilizing the literary format of chronological order. Students complete a graphic organizer.
Learners write an autobiography using one main pattern of text organization.  In this text organization lesson, students read several examples of articles with sequence, list, cause and effect, and compare and contrast patterns, discuss which pattern is best to use and when to use it, then they complete graphic organizers of each pattern before writing their autobiography.
Can a neon sign be considered art? Kids consider two different works that use neon text as the basis for conveying artistic social messages. They then analyze a truism from Jenny Holzer's web site that holds meaning to them personally. There are three excellent research extension ideas related to the topic of art as social activism.

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