ext Features-Knowing text features and their purpose allow students to preview the text, access prior knowledge and make connections. As students gather information they can surmise the author’s intent.
ext Structures-Knowing how authors build their stories (text structures) help students to read with a purpose and better understanding. For example, if students are told they are reading a text for Describing they read and search for text evidence that supports the main idea and details…looking for signal words that tell the reader that the author is describing something. On the other hand, if students are explicitly told they are reading for Compare & Contrast they begin to read with the intent to find signal words and text evidence that supports the author is looking at two things for same and differences. Once students know the text structures well, they then can be given a piece of text and can identify the structure based on signal words and evidence without having to be told the structure beforehand
arget Skill in Journeys- Ever notice that the Target Skill for each lesson matches a text structure? Students are being told explicitly what to focus on as they read so teach the Target Skill like you would teach the Text Structure. Have students go into the text searching for evidence of the structure.
hinking Maps- Can you believe it….all eight cognitive skills support the text structures? In fact three of the eight are called the same thing: Sequencing, Compare & Contrast, and Cause & Effect. As students, pull apart the text and take notes…why not use a Thinking Map to organize their notes or thoughts? Then have them “rebuild” what they’ve read by reading, speaking and writing from their map.
So as you can see not only are the ABCs important but so are the s!
Ask your TOA on lessons on Text Features, Text Structures, and taking Thinking Maps to writing.