3 Ways to Teach Nonfiction Text Structures to Upper Elementary Students

reading Dec 20, 2022
3 Ways to Teach Nonfiction Text Structures to Upper Elementary Students

Teaching upper elementary students nonfiction text structures can be a challenging but rewarding task. By the time students reach upper elementary school, they have likely been exposed to a variety of texts, including both fiction and nonfiction. However, nonfiction texts often have different structures and purposes than fiction, and it is important for students to be able to identify and understand these structures in order to effectively comprehend and analyze the information presented in these texts.

Graphic Organizers

One way to teach nonfiction text structures to upper elementary students is through the use of graphic organizers. Graphic organizers are visual representations of information that can help students see the relationships and connections between different pieces of information. There are many different types of graphic organizers that can be used to teach nonfiction text structures, including Venn diagrams, flowcharts, and tree maps.

Venn Diagrams

For example, a Venn diagram can be used to help students compare and contrast two or more different topics. This can be particularly helpful when reading a nonfiction text that discusses multiple ideas or perspectives. Students can use the Venn diagram to identify the similarities and differences between the topics, which can help them better understand the information presented in the text.

Flowcharts

Flowcharts are another type of graphic organizer that can be helpful for teaching nonfiction text structures. Flowcharts show the sequential steps or processes involved in a task or concept. This can be particularly useful when reading a nonfiction text that explains how to do something or describes a series of events. By creating a flowchart, students can see the relationships between the different steps and better understand the overall process or concept being described.

Tree Maps

Tree maps are another useful tool for teaching nonfiction text structures. A tree map is a visual representation of hierarchical relationships that shows how different ideas or concepts are related to one another. This can be helpful when reading a nonfiction text that presents information in a hierarchical manner, such as a text that discusses the different levels of classification within a particular field. By creating a tree map, students can see the relationships between the different levels of classification and better understand the overall structure of the information being presented.

Text Feature Scavenger Hunts

Another way to teach nonfiction text structures is through the use of text feature scavenger hunts. Text features are the various elements of a nonfiction text that help readers understand and navigate the information presented in the text. Examples of text features include headings, subheadings, captions, boldfaced words, and bullet points. By conducting a text feature scavenger hunt, students can practice identifying and using these features to better understand and analyze the information presented in a nonfiction text.

To conduct a text feature scavenger hunt, give students a list of text features that they should look for as they read a nonfiction text. Have them work in pairs or small groups and give them a set amount of time to find as many of the text features on the list as they can. After the time is up, have the groups share their findings with the class and discuss how the different text features helped them better understand and analyze the information presented in the text.

Text Structure Cards

Another effective technique for teaching nonfiction text structures is through the use of text structure cards. Text structure cards are cards that represent the different types of nonfiction text structures, such as cause and effect, compare and contrast, and chronological order. To use text structure cards, give students a set of cards that represent the different text structures. Have them work in small groups and give them a nonfiction text to read. As they read, have them identify the text structure of the text and place the corresponding text structure card at the beginning of the text. This can help students see the overall structure of the text and better understand the information being presented.