ILASCD Journal

Summer 2016

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We were recently asked to give a guest lecture on informational text structures to several sections of a reading course for an elementary teacher preparation program. With more than 70 undergraduate students in the guest lecture, the challenge was to choose manageable activities that would: a) engage the students and, b) help them understand the complexities of informational text. Naturally, we asked the undergraduates to write. With this in mind, we had the students complete two writing exercises, one focused on taking notes on informational text, which can support reading. The other focused on writing their own passages. Our purpose was to help the students understand considerations they need to make when teaching children these writing skills, as well as how instruction in informational text structures can be used to support informational text instruction. Note: We did not discuss text structures prior to asking the students to complete the exercises. Our first exercise: Note-taking (Using writing to support reading) For this task, we asked students to read a paragraph and take notes on the main ideas and details. Students were given 3 minutes to read the passage and take notes. See figure 1 for the passage. Helping Students Conquer Informational Text with Text Structures and Information Frames Dr. Michael Hebert Hot Topic Dr. Janet Bohaty SUMMER 2016 | VOLUME 62 | NUMBER 2 | PAGE 8

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