Mentor Monday Linky 2/10/14: Non-Fiction Text Structures


Welcome to the fourth week of Mentor Monday! It’s hard to believe I started this linky one month ago. I’d had the chance to meet some wonderful new blogger friends and learn about some fabulous children’s books. Hopefully you have too! 🙂
Today’s topic is Non-Fiction Text Structures. Personally, I think teachers have tons of materials and creative ways to teach non-fiction text features, we need to focus a bit more on solidly teaching the structure of non-fiction. Our students may experience difficulty with reading and comprehending non-fiction text if a purpose isn’t set, or they aren’t text-savvy enough to grasp the way it is arranged. Scholastic gives a nice little overview of  the five text structures in this article. I’ve made a poster over of this chart in my classroom to refer to when reading nonfiction. Take a peek:

The format is really clear and simple, but what I especially like is the signal words for each structure. Whenever I would read a short article, a picture book or a chapter from a textbook with my third graders, we would be on the lookout for these signal words. Once we established the structure of the text, my students were able to read much more purposefully and therefore, with deeper comprehension.

My Mentor Text

Ask any of my former students which is my most favorite animal, and they will surely tell you the puffin! When Nights of the Pufflings came out years ago, I instantly fell in love with it. It is a precious story of Icelandic children helping stranded and sometimes disoriented baby puffins make their first journey out to sea. Without the children’s intervention, these pufflings were clearly in danger. Find out how they children in a small village go out at night each year and help out these once endangered creatures.
This is a great book to teach the cause and effect text structure. I created a flap-book to teach practice finding cause and effect events in the text. This works really well for an interactive notebook or just for reader’s response. Using the signal words, I would have my students find the causes or effects for each flap and write it underneath it. This gives a little extra practice with using the signal words, not just trying to spot them while reading the text.

If you are interested in teaching this book with your students, it’s available in my store. I’m going to make it 50% off from 2/10/14-2/12/14 if you’d like to purchase it.

I have one more book that just came out a few years ago that is great for teaching this structure. It’s called Here Comes The Garbage Barge by Jonah Winter and The Red Nose Studio. This is an amazing story based on the events that took place in 1987 in Islip , NY. They needed to dump 3,168 tons of garbage, so they hire a barge to ship it to another location. Find out what happens when NO ONE wants Islip’s stinky old garbage. This book is super high interest and the illustrations will really hold a young reader’s attention. Plus, this book has cause and effect coming out of its ears!! (or pages in this case) 🙂

Which books do you like to teach cause and effect with? I’d love to hear your suggestions in the comments below.
One more thing…

Have you checked out the February Ebook, filled with goodies from some 17 of your favorite teacher bloggers? I’m on page 13. When you open the link, you’ll be able to click on images on each page that will take you to a freebie or the teacher’s blog. I’m so impressed with this Ebook and I know you will be too. Enjoy!

*Note to fellow teacher bloggers: If you’d like to link up your post with a mentor text about this literacy topic, THANK YOU!
Here is a link to the Mentor Monday button I’ve created.
Please use it at the beginning of your post to make it easily recognizable on all link-ups. Also, please name your post Mentor Monday Linky 2/10/14: Non-Fiction Text Structures. You’ll find the link-up at the end of this post. It will stay open until 11 P.M. Wednesday night 2/12/14.

I’m so excited to read your posts to learn about some other great picture books. Thank you for visiting my blog today! I’d love for you to follow me on Bloglovin‘ by clicking the heart on the blue book in the right sidebar. Please come back each week for Mentor Monday! :))



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  1. Thank you Sebrina! I love sharing how puffins were nearly extinct, but thanks to Project Puffin, the population is thriving. I'm so glad you're enjoying Mentor Monday. I'm learning a lot from you too! 🙂
    Emily, TRT/OG

  2. Hi Abby! It is a really fun story. It has a great lead at the beginning and you can use different voices and accents for the characters. This would make an awesome reader's theater script! Thanks for commenting. 🙂
    Emily, TRT/OG

  3. Please so Em! I absolutely love children's non-fiction picture books. Garbage Barge is super fun but informative too. It's a great read for Earth Day. Thanks for commenting!
    Emily, TRT/OG

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