Content Cards: Text Structures, Grades 9-12

Today’s post is Text Structures for Different Types of Writing.  I designed this tool for teachers, but there are many pages that will also be good resource materials for students.   In this handy guide, you’ll find a quick overview of the text types (i.e., Argumentative, Informational, Narrative) in the Common Core State Standards.  AFter that, I’ve included my content cards for the following five text structures: compare/contrast, cause/effect, problem/solution, sequence, and description.

Check these out to see if they are something you can use!  Here’s the link:

Analysis Questions – Bar Graphs

One of the simplest things you can do to help students think deeply about visual material is to write analysis questions for the different types of visuals you use with students.  This example is for bar graphs – and I’ve included two examples to give you an idea of how these questions might look.  (I’ll be adding a whole series of analysis questions for different types of visuals, so be sure to check back often and/or subscribe to this blog.)

Overview Sheet – Analysis Questions, Bar Graphs

Analysis Questions, Bar Graph, Band Instrument Choices

Analysis Questions, Bar Graph, 3D Movies

After students talk about the information in the graphs, based on the guiding questions you provide, have them write a summary of what the graph says.  You can make this a short and sweet summary that uses bullet statements or you can have students write a full paragraph.  When you give students a chance to talk about the questions BEFORE having them write, they’ll do a much better job with the summary.

Use the graphs.  Get students talking about the information in the graphs.  Watch them develop deeper understanding because you guided them through deeper thinking of the material.  And as always, don’t forget to add your own good questions.  You may even want to add some here!

Learning to Count

When teaching students to count, there are a couple of basic tools every teacher needs.  Here’s the great news:  These tools cost almost nothing and are very simple to reproduce and use.  DOWNLOAD MY HUNDREDS CHART and perhaps print one for each of your students.  DOWNLOAD THE NUMBER CARDS and make a number line and/or use the cards in a variety of other ways.

Corresponding Content Card – Counting 1, 2, 3.

Compare and Contrast – Roles of Government

Here is a lesson that supports the learning of comparing responsibilities between state and federal governments.  I’ve included a couple of things here:

A lesson in which students use manipulatives and a Venn Diagram planner to compare and contrast the responsibilities between the roles of the federal and state governments.

Additionally, a beginning list of analysis questions for the Venn diagram.  For those of you who know me, you know that I always recommend making sure that students have plenty of opportunities to talk about graphic organizers after they’ve developed them.

MEAP Writing Rubrics

In September 2009, the Michigan Department sent out a listserve message to solicit feedback and comments about the new MEAP writing rubric for compare and contrast.  I could hardly wait to look at it.  I want you to know what I submitted.

Debs Comments for New MEAP Writing Rubrics

I think it’s great that the folks at the State are encouraging this kind of information, so don’t forget to send along your own good ideas and suggestions to them.

Unpacking the Compare and Contrast Standard for the New MEAP Writing Test

Comparing and contrasting are thinking skills.  It just so happens that in Fall 2010, the Michigan Department of Education will assess students in their ability to write a compare-and-contrast paragraph.  In my blog, I’ll be providing ideas that I hope will be useful to you.  I also hope that you’ll consider adding ideas.  If there is something you think we could post, just email it to me and I’ll take care of it.  Please visit my blog frequently – and tell your friends about it so they can visit it, too!

Here are THREE things for you to download today.

Unpacked MEAP Standards, Grade 3, ELA, HORIZONTAL FORMAT This is a twenty-two page document in which I’ve put a number of things.  I’ve unpacked the standard (ya-hoo); put together a list of core vocabulary words and descriptions for this standard; provided ideas for prompts; and created charts that show where the thinking skills of compare and contrast are already embedded in the Grade Level Content Expectations (GLCEs).

I designed these by content area (e.g, one for reading, writing, math, science, and social studies that show natural compare-and-contrast connections by grade level).  I also designed charts by grade levels, K-5.  If you want a 2nd grade teacher to quickly see how compare-and-contrast is addressed across the content areas in grade 2, these charts might be just perfect for your use.

I also designed a content card for compare and contrast.  Print this out; it’s ready to use!

Compare and Contrast, Apples to Oranges This is not a lesson, but I’ve included a number of ideas for your review, consideration, and use.  I’ve included some ideas for the prompt:  Compare and Contrast Apples and Oranges.

Compare and Contrast, Apples to Oranges in NOTES FORMAT Download this pdf file and you’ll see the powerpoint slides I created above in the Notes Format – with my notes on each slide.

Please tell me what you think!  All thoughts – the good, the bad, and the ugly – are welcome.