Tip: Text Features and Structure Checklist
How do I do it?
In order to comprehend informational texts, students must be able to identify text features and structures. The features and structures each have a purpose. For example, bolded key words in a text draw attention to an important word that students must understand to comprehend the entire passage. A compare and contrast structure is meant to show how 2 or more ideas or things are alike and different, allowing the reader to make a judgement about their relationship and relative importance. A checklist that students use to identify these features and structures will support their comprehension. Create a checklist that addresses the features and structures that you are currently studying or have studied in the past. Add to the list as you identify more features and structures. Place a piece of clear packing tape over the check-box and the chart becomes reusable! After previewing or reading a text with students, whole class, identify the features and structures located.
Variations & Extensions
During preview of a text or passage, check off the features and structures identified. Make the checklist into a bookmark, laminate it. Add to the chart with a second chart that identifies the purposes of each feature or strategy. To introduce the concept of the importance of text features and strategies, take a page from an informational text and re-write it without the features. Direct the class to identify the differences or read the featureless and/or structureless text first and then the original second and compare comprehension and student reactions.
Common Core ELA Reading Standard 5
Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
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