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
I am a fan of Kelly Gallagher’s Article of the Week. His website is loaded with weekly articles you can use to give students interesting topics to which they can write.
I recently read an article in Education Week and asked the author, Anothy Cody, for permission to turn his article, Color Coded High School ID Cards Sort Students by Test Performance, into an assignment for students.
I set up the assignment in a modified version of Article of the Week. I modified the directions and numbered each of the lines in the text. The numbered lines support students in citing the text during classroom discussions.
Download the assignment: Assignment: Argumentative Paper
The assignment includes a Writing Checklist, which you can download separately.
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
I’ve been working on collecting ideas for content-area literacy. I began with the reading standards for science, grades 9-10 from the Common Core State Standards.
Download a pdf version of the 28-page document and see if there’s an idea or two you can use.
Informational Literacy Standards for Science – FRESH LINK, Updated September 27, 2011.
Informational Literacy Standards for Science, Updated 09.19.2011
Motor Mouth is simply an engaging strategy for students to review important vocabulary. This can be used in any class at any grade level. Did I mention that this is also fun?
I’ve included the PowerPoint with directions and a template that is ready to modify for your own use.
Click here for the Powerpoint!
Exit slips are as tool to check for understanding and get a sense of where your kids are on just about any topic you want. They are so easy to implement.
I’ve written basic directions and examples for using exit slips in your classroom.
Don’t let this idea slip away!
Click here to download the three-page document for working with exit slips.
There are so many times we can help students learn to read for meaning – and using an advanced organizer is just one simple strategy we can use.
Here’s one way to use the technique, with a reading from the Chile mine rescue.
Download the activity which includes directions, the advanced organizer, and the reading.
A quick-write is a literacy strategy that can be used in any content area. In this activity you give students a topic or let them choose one of their own and then give them five minutes or so to write quickly about the topic.
I’ve included brief directions for using Quick-Writes with your students and an example of how to have students fill in their writing logs.
Download the materials now and give the technique a try!
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.
One of the simplest things you can do to help students think deeply about visual material is to write analysis questions for the different types of visuals you use with students. This example is for bar graphs – and I’ve included two examples to give you an idea of how these questions might look. (I’ll be adding a whole series of analysis questions for different types of visuals, so be sure to check back often and/or subscribe to this blog.)
Overview Sheet – Analysis Questions, Bar Graphs
Analysis Questions, Bar Graph, Band Instrument Choices
Analysis Questions, Bar Graph, 3D Movies
After students talk about the information in the graphs, based on the guiding questions you provide, have them write a summary of what the graph says. You can make this a short and sweet summary that uses bullet statements or you can have students write a full paragraph. When you give students a chance to talk about the questions BEFORE having them write, they’ll do a much better job with the summary.
Use the graphs. Get students talking about the information in the graphs. Watch them develop deeper understanding because you guided them through deeper thinking of the material. And as always, don’t forget to add your own good questions. You may even want to add some here!