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Nonfiction Text Structures


Nonfiction Text Structures

Logo for Nonfiction Text Structures
Students need to be able to recognize a variety of text structures in nonfiction texts.  This lesson plan is designed to help students differentiate between five particular text structures, including: Description, compare/contrast, sequence, cause/effect, problem/solution.  It is crucial that fifth graders understand the difference between fiction and nonfiction and how to identify features in each.  This interactive text structure lesson helps with this goal for both students and the teacher. ... More
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Material Type: Collection
Technical Format: HTML/Text
Date Added to MERLOT: January 24, 2013
Date Modified in MERLOT: February 26, 2013
Keywords: compare/contrast, application, problem/solution, interactive, text structures, sequence, description, nonfiction, assess, cause/effect


  • Reviewed by members of Editorial board for inclusion in MERLOT.
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  • User review 5 average rating
  • User Rating: 5 user rating
  • Discussion (2 Comments)
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Primary Audience: Grade School
Mobile Compatibility: Not specified at this time
Language: English
Cost Involved: unsure
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Discussion for Nonfiction Text Structures

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Avatar for Jennifer Esch
3 years ago

Jennifer Esch (Teacher (K-12))

Regarding ease of use; I appreciate that this lesson plan opens right up into a Google Doc, making it easy to view, print, download or copy to a new document.

The summary of the lesson plan on MERLOT is excellent.  Not only did I know what to expect, the suggestions of how to use the lesson helped me consider various scenarios as I read through the lesson plan.  This enabled me to contemplate the lesson’s use much easier than had the suggestions not been given.

I like that this lesson is flexible enough that it can be used at the beginning, middle or end of a unit.  It addresses a real problem (i.e. heavy focus on fiction in ELA courses) not only by instructing students on how to recognize features in nonfiction texts, but also by enabling them to understand how they can apply what they learned to a wide range of content areas.  I appreciate the variety in tasks and assessments throughout the lessons, as it allows for students to showcase their acquired knowledge in methods that are their strengths and deepen their understanding of the content by completing assessments that may be less natural for them.

I would have liked the method to be more detailed, but overall really enjoyed this lesson plan.  It seems that it will provide valuable content and has enough technology and opportunities for collaboration to fully engage students throughout its entirety.

Technical Remarks:

The technology use seems appropriate and as though it will enhance student learning (as opposed to adding technology for the sake of technology).  It is well thought out with multiple software/application options depending on what the school has access to.

I did not have any technical issues as I worked through the lesson plan.

Time spent reviewing site: 15 minutes

Avatar for Andrew Murray
3 years ago

Andrew Murray (Student)

This is a great lesson plan for elementary-middle school students (5th-8th grade).  I love the interactive components with small group and whole group discussions as well as the presentation component.  When thinking about UDL, I also like the written portions that the students will create in addition to using presentation software (whether it be PowerPoint or something else).  Finally, while the students will type up their responses and share them with you, I see the potential for sharing with each other, especially if you have all students use Google Docs rather than Microsoft Word.

Technical Remarks:

The technology needs are well-identified and it seems like all the uses of tech will complement the lesson overall!

Time spent reviewing site: 15 mins