In our fourth grade classroom we use TCRWP's Reading Units of Study. The units are broken down by grade level, each grade level has two literature and two informational units. The kits also come with If, Then units that help you add to your curriculum. I say all of this first to let you know what I currently use as my curriculum.
We just began our first informational reading unit and session three has us introducing text structures to students. Last year, my students struggled with this. I knew this session was coming and I was checking out the TCRWP Reading Units of Study Facebook Group and this great comment sparked the idea. A teacher shared how she helped show her students text structure by using a scene from The Sandlot.
I started thinking about some of my own favorite scenes from The Sandlot. Then, I created a post on my personal page asking friends to help throw out some movie ideas after I knew I wanted to use The Sandlot, Jumanji and Home Alone.
This work was perfect for today because yesterday we went over our pre-assessment (see The Units of Study) and one of the questions is always about how parts of a text fit in relation to the whole text, another asks students about the author's craft and technique. All of the student samples, student checklists, etc. have students using the language of text structure.
Here's how it went when I took it to my classes today.
"Alright readers. Do you remember how questions number two and three were super hard on that pre-assessment? Some of you were looking at me like 'Mrs. Riedmiller, what is technique?!'...
Readers nodded in agreement.
"As nonfiction readers, when we move from "waiting for the dentist" nonfiction reading to "reading to learn" nonfiction reading, we have to get the whole picture before we dig in. Wednesday we talked about previewing texts, and I told you that I needed to see the whole pizza before I decided which piece I was going to take.... well when we know how a text is organized we can take our previewing and ultimately understanding of the text to the next level, we read with the big picture in mind."
"Today I want to teach you that nonfiction readers think about how texts are organized. This helps us move from "waiting for the dentist" nonfiction reading to "reading to learn" nonfiction reading. Here are some of the ways that nonfiction texts can be organized: chronological order, cause & effect, compare & contrast or problem/solution."
I gave the students some keywords to look for in each category. Once I gave them the short handout it was time to watch the clips.
"I am going to show you four short videos and I want you to decide if you can figure out which videos pair up with the four text structures."
I showed the kids four videos, asking them to jot down which structure they thought each matched up with. Then I played each video a second time AFTER telling them the correct structure.
"Now I will tell you the structure that matched each video and this time as you watch the clip, I want you to see if any of the key words pop out. I want you to really pay attention and think about how that structure fits with each clip."
This is just an example of the language I use with my kids. Here are possible clips to use:
Ham Shows Smalls How to Make S'mores (The Sandlot)
I Suppose You're Gonna Fly (Space Jam)
Making Friends With a Dragon (How to Train Your Dragon)
Gotta Go (Spider-Man Miles Morales 2018)
Cause & Effect:
Roll the Dice (Jumanji, 2005)
Smart House (Annie, 2014) Thanks, Britt!
Dangerous Book (The Neverending Story)
Tra La La! (Captain Underpants)
Bull in a China Shop (Ferdinand)
First Fight at the New School (Little Monsters)
Compare & Contrast:
Wingardium Leviosa (Harry Potter)
They Named Her Matilda (Matilda)
Grandma VS Mariachi (Coco)
Kevin Sets the Traps (Home Alone)
Quick! Call 911 (The Little Rascals)
Indestructible Gnomes (Goosebumps)
I am still on the search for great clips to share with my learners and it’s important to make this note: students should be able to prove how each clip fits with the structure. I am always ready to hear proof and examples from my kids. Choosing between cause & effect and problem/solution is tough work. If a learner can back up their reasoning or thinking I am more than willing to hear them out. Be open, be willing to see if some of these clips fit MORE than one structure because many do.
I hope this lesson turns out as successful for you as it has for us. Happy nonfiction reading!
1/16/2018 07:48:25 pm
How do you get those particular clip segments? You Tube video clips? It sounds like a great idea for engaging students in learning.
1/19/2021 10:01:10 am
Just stumbled across this and I love it! Never thought about teaching text structure this way. I use Disney video clips for figurative language, but this is awesome! What other ways do you use video clips to reinforce literary elements/reading/writing lessons?
1/19/2021 10:51:17 am
Do you mind sharing the Disney clips you use for figurative language?
1/21/2022 04:29:52 pm
u can use video clips to study ,do a project .
1/21/2022 04:20:00 pm
I agree it sounds really nice to up your game ..
1/16/2018 07:51:56 pm
This is EXACTLY what I need to help teach this difficult concept!
1/16/2018 08:11:12 pm
Love this thank you for posting!;;
1/17/2018 11:58:40 am
I too would like to know how you get the exact clip, please share! 😊
1/18/2018 04:41:10 am
Love this and totally changing my plans for today to teach the structures in this manner. I also need to teach “description,” I was thinking Planet Earth for that, do you have any other thoughts? Thank you!
1/23/2018 03:12:20 am
Also needing to teach description! Following for ideas!
1/23/2018 11:56:27 am
Here is the link to the clip I used: http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/video/planet-earth-45675311
10/6/2018 06:37:29 pm
Inside out- Meet the Emotions for description
1/27/2018 09:40:22 pm
I've been brainstorming and came up with https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z-Ij7ElJnqM
1/28/2018 05:39:50 am
That’s great! I haven’t watched that movie in FOREVER!
2/3/2018 08:14:42 am
Thank you for your blog! Do you ever coach teachers? I am very interested if you do!
2/19/2018 06:24:42 pm
I love this as a reminder and a fun way to change things up.
2/22/2018 05:44:09 pm
Thank you SO much for sharing!!! This is such a fun and exciting way to engage students interest!!!!!
3/11/2018 06:56:18 pm
You- are- a- genius!!!
3/21/2018 11:05:45 am
Thanks for sharing! I used this today to teach my 3rd graders. They were so engaged!
5/6/2018 10:56:46 am
This is AWESOME and exactly what my students need! Thank you so much for compiling these clips (and finding theexact start/stop time). I also found this one for compare and contrast https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q864EalnLvs
11/14/2018 12:54:26 pm
1/22/2019 09:16:39 am
Do you have a copy of the preassessment you'd like to share?
2/24/2019 07:49:24 am
Thank you so much! This is just what I was looking for!
3/18/2019 08:44:41 am
This is a great pixar short for cause and effect! I love ALL of these videos, they are fantastic. Thank you!
9/11/2019 04:45:29 pm
This is a great video for compare and contrast, as well!https://youtu.be/4eaITAbJ7YM
10/10/2019 04:39:35 pm
This is AMAZING! This was exactly what I was looking for! You are a saint!
11/10/2019 10:07:19 am
Do you have the paper that you gave the students to go along with the videos that you'd be willing to share?
12/8/2019 08:11:31 pm
Hello, I am also wondering about the paper as I use LC RUOS and I can't find any keyword anchors. Thanks
1/19/2020 01:38:34 pm
Do you have the lesson plan with standards for this? I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out which CCSS match this idea! But I'd love to do this with my class!
3/2/2020 12:29:25 pm
I used Elf for chronological order because it told what he did in the order that he did it. I used the scene where he is reading his book. I used the smore scene from Sandlot for sequential order! Super helpful! Thank you so much for sharing!
Sheresa R Sawyer
7/31/2020 03:27:20 pm
Thank you for this wonderful resources, it is definitely engaging!
12/1/2020 04:06:31 am
Thank you so much! The kiddos will love this!
12/20/2020 01:37:37 am
Great readiing your blog post
1/15/2021 07:21:12 am
awesome reading posts
10/20/2021 07:01:18 pm
12/1/2021 06:47:09 am
My students loved this! After introducing before the lesson they easily were able to find the text structure in a text.
12/1/2021 08:20:30 am
Thank you so much for sharing. My students loved the videos.
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