Understanding Text Structure

Teach students to identify the following text structures:

  1. Description
    Example: "The crocodile is the master of deception in the water. It stalks its prey and then swiftly closes in for the kill."

  2. Problem/Solution
    Example: "One problem to resolve in crocodile watching is transportation. How can an observer get close enough to watch without scaring it away or being attacked?"

  3. Time/Order
    Example: "Archaeologists have helped us to understand that the evolution of the crocodile began with ..."

  4. Comparison/Contrast
    Example: "The power of the crocodile is like that of a monstrous machine. With one lunge it can destroy its prey and protect the kill from other predators."

  5. Cause/Effect
    Example: "We observed the crocodile as it stalked a raccoon moving through the moonlight toward the edge of the water. As a result of a noise we made, the raccoon bolted..."

  6. Directions
    Example: "When observing a crocodile, first you must..."

from Revisit, Reflect, Retell by Linda Hoyt Heinemann

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