Today’s post is Text Structures for Different Types of Writing. I designed this tool for teachers, but there are many pages that will also be good resource materials for students. In this handy guide, you’ll find a quick overview of the text types (i.e., Argumentative, Informational, Narrative) in the Common Core State Standards. AFter that, I’ve included my content cards for the following five text structures: compare/contrast, cause/effect, problem/solution, sequence, and description.
Check these out to see if they are something you can use! Here’s the link: http://datadeb.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/001_text_structures-deb-wahsltrom.pdf
Details and examples are one of those areas that students have struggled with when writing. Being able to cite details and examples is a skill that is valuable in reading, writing, thinking, and speaking. What are some of the things we might want to make sure students learn when we ask them to think about details and examples? We might want them to know what kinds of things are details: facts, quotes, statistics, firgurative language, the information in a visual, sensory details, and more. We also want students to know some of the things they can do with details: compare and contrast ideas, support a point of view, oppose a point of view, make a decision, describe a character, make inferences, make prediections, and more. As always, I’ve got a pdf copy for you – just print it out and share it with your students (and fellow educators).
Content Card, Details
Writing is a tool for thinking and learning. It doesn’t matter what content area you teach, you’ll find many opportunities to help students think through writing.
This quick overview gives a couple of ideas for having students write about data from a line graph.
Download the overview sheet and examples of having elementary students write about data.
In this pdf, I’ve included examples of analysis questions for two different line graphs. Both of these are for the elementary level. For each set of questions, I’ve also included a large size of the graph that you can project and/or give students as they work to answer these questions.
Download the pdf of the Analysis Questions for a Line Graph.
Remember the Success Sequence: Draw, Talk, Write. Have the students use the visual and talk about the answers – preferably in a structured way as you call out the question. Then have students write about the graph.
This content card is for the elementary level. The content card shows the parts of a line graph, ideas for comparing data, the definition of a line graph, and common words for describing the amounts in a graph.
Download this two-page content card for line graphs.
Our younger students learn about parallel lines in different grade levels in different states. But there is some key content that students need to know related to parallel lines. This content card provides key content. (If you see other things that need to be added, please leave a comment and I’ll update this. All of my content cards are a work in progress.) DOWNLOAD THE CONTENT CARD FOR PARALLEL. I’ve included a piece that is not in most elementary programs – and that is how to write a math sentence that shows two lines are parallel.
Remember that in curriculum development world, we still need to work on things students must be able to do with this content at the elementary school level. Do we want students to identify parallel lines in everyday things? Do we want students to distinguish between a parallel line and a perpendicular line? What about explaining what a parallel line is? What about explaining why a line that is not parallel isn’t? Do we want students to explain the difference between parallel lines and intersecting lines? These kinds of things become objectives in your curriculum.
For those of you in charge of developing curriculum, there are a couple of questions you’ll want to answer: What core content do you want at each grade level in relation to this concept? What do you want students to do with the content at each grade level? By the way, content cards are a good way to check vertical and horizontal alignment in a curriculum at the district level.
If your role is that of designing assessments, the content cards are a big plus as well. When everyone works from the same core content – and the same objectives, you support tight alignment at the classroom level – which is where alignment really happens.
This is another sort that I designed when I put together the Content Card for Counting (Kindergarten Level). In this activity, students practice using sentences that have a number. DOWNLOAD THIS ACTIVITY and your students will soon be making sentences.
Corresponding Content Card – Counting 1, 2, 3.
One of the things I do to determine the quality of a curriculum is to review the actual content the curriculum will include. This is the content card I developed for the common core’s DRAFT grade-level kindergarten standards that deal with counting. I’ve also reviewed the the corresponding standards for the State of Michigan and the Commonwealth of Virginia. See what you think! DOWNLOAD THE CONTENT CARDS.
Have you ever struggled with helping students write a good conclusion? This is a simple and powerful activity I designed to help students understand the difference. Download the pdf of the strategy, which includes directions, a template, and an answer sheet for this activity. I designed this for the elementary level, but this is easily adapted to the secondary level by using more sophisticated examples. The Hot Miss phrase is from Amy Hooper, a wonderful teacher at Axton Elementary in Virginia.
Here is a lesson that supports the learning of comparing responsibilities between state and federal governments. I’ve included a couple of things here:
A lesson in which students use manipulatives and a Venn Diagram planner to compare and contrast the responsibilities between the roles of the federal and state governments.
Additionally, a beginning list of analysis questions for the Venn diagram. For those of you who know me, you know that I always recommend making sure that students have plenty of opportunities to talk about graphic organizers after they’ve developed them.