TEACHING STRATEGY

Examining Texts

Exploring Texts Through Read Alouds
Grade Level
K-2

What?
Children will learn about the key components of paper and online text structure. Students will also gain the terminology necessary to talk about the structure and parts of a text.

When?

Before reading
 

Why?

Beginning reading instruction that investigates text type and structure paves the way for language and literacy development. Familiarity with texts and text types is foundational to the reading and research skills necessary for academic and career success. Pre-literacy instruction must include exposure to both print and digital texts. Technological proficiency is critical for all students.


How?

  1. Determine what your students already know about text components and structure. Depending on the grade level, many may already be familiar with some text components.
  2. Use one of the graphic organizers provided to explore the following terms with your students:


Kindergarten:

  • Front and back covers
  • Title page: the page of a book (usually the first) that lists the title, author, illustrator and publisher
  • Publisher: the company or individual that produced (printed or posted) the book
  • Title: name of the book
  • Author: person who wrote the book
  • Illustrator: person who drew the pictures

Grade 1:

  • Preface: an introduction (some children’s books may not have this)
  • Table of contents: a list of sections (usually chapters) with their page numbers
  • Appendix: additional information listed near the end of a book or text
  • Glossary: an alphabetical list of definitions (and sometimes pronunciation) of special or unusual words
  • Index: an alphabetical list of topics and their page numbers (usually placed at the end of the book)
  • Headings and subheadings: topics and subtopics, often bolded in the text
  • Bibliography: list of resources used to write the book
  • Informational and literary texts: books that give information versus books that tell stories
  • Illustrations versus text: distinguish between information provided by pictures and information provided by words in text

Grade 2:

  • Preface: the introduction of the book (some children’s books may not have this)
  • Table of contents: a list of book sections (usually chapters) with their page numbers
  • Appendix: additional information listed near the end of a book or text
  • Glossary: an alphabetical list of definitions (and sometimes pronunciation) of special or unusual words
  • Index: an alphabetical list of topics and their page numbers (usually placed at the end of the book)
  • Headings and subheadings: topics and subtopics, often bolded in the text
  • Bibliography: list of resources used to write the book
  • Purpose of text: what the author wants to answer, explain or argue
  • Structure of story: beginning, middle and end; how beginning introduces story, the middle builds the narrative and end ties it up
  • Different characters have different points of view
     

English language learners

Identifying and labeling text parts in English can help English language learners decipher text meaning and become more familiar with text types and patterns. Understanding that text structure is deliberate increases reading comprehension. Also, illustrations and visual cues provide useful context for developing language acquisition.


Connection to anti-bias education

This strategy provides a space to learn about diversity authentically in social, political and historical contexts rather than in ways that are superficial and oversimplified (Anti-Bias Standard 10). As students explore a wide variety of texts, they will recognize that identity characteristics such as race, class and gender cannot be understood in isolation from one another and intersect to create complex identities for individuals (Anti-bias Standard 3).Having the language to identify parts of text is a tool students can use to recognize and discuss critical elements of a text such as author point of view, audience appeal and representation of all people in texts.