Teaching text structure isn’t always easy. Students must have strong reading comprehension skills to be able to identify the six main types of informational texts. They need to be aware of common signal words that provide clues to the structure of the paragraph. However, there are ways to make it easy and fun for your students.
The main informational text structures are compare/contrast, cause and effect, problem/solution, description, chronological order, and sequence. Today I’ll talk about my 3 favorite ways to teach the different structures.
1. Sorting Cards
The first way I like to teach text structure is with sorting cards. This gives students the chance to read and discuss many examples. It’s also screen-free, which can be a nice change of pace these days.
You can use these sorting cards with small groups to provide direct support. Co-teachers can easily get involved and assist students during alternative teaching or stations. This activity can work well with groups or individually.
2. Color by Number
The next way to teach text structure is with a color by number activity. Students read short paragraphs and use the answers to solve the puzzle. While students complete this activity, you can ask them to annotate/circle/underline lines from the passages to justify their choices.
Color by number activities make great review stations. They can be a fun way to enhance your test prep lesson plans. Also, teachers have told me that they use them as substitute lesson plans.
3. Scavenger Hunts
The third way to teach text structure is with a scavenger hunt. This helps kids stay engaged in the content because kids love moving around. Working in pairs is a great way to encourage conversation. (Again, this activity is screen free. If you’re looking for more low-tech activities, check out this blog post!)
This is an excellent activity for a teacher observation. Administrators love seeing kids engaged in learning activities like these. Scavenger hunts take the same content you might find on a worksheet, but make it much more dynamic.
You can find all of these resources in a money-saving bundle here. Let me know if you have enjoyed these resources by leaving me a comment or review!
Finally, let’s address digital resources for teaching text structure. I like tools like Boom Cards or Easel by TpT. These digital platforms make practicing text structure fast and efficient. They are self-checking, so students get instant feedback.
What are some of your favorite strategies for teaching text structure? Let me know in the comments!