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Analyzing Compare/Contrast and Question/Answer Text Structures

Lesson Plan

Analyzing Compare/Contrast and Question/Answer Text Structures

Objectives

In this lesson, students will focus on compare/contrast and question/answer text structures. Students will:

  • analyze how nonfiction text is structured.
  • identify transitions that support text structure.
  • cite evidence to support identification of text structure.

Essential Questions

How do readers’ know what to believe in what they read, hear, and view?
How do strategic readers create meaning from informational and literary text?
How does interaction with text provoke thinking and response?
What is this text really about?
  • How do strategic readers create meaning from informational and literary text?
  • What is this text really about?
  • How does interaction with text provoke thinking and response?
  • How do readers know what to believe in what they read, hear, and view?

Vocabulary

  • Compare: Placing together characters, situations, or ideas to show common or differing features in literary selections.
  • Contrast: To compare or appraise differences.
  • Transitions: Words that help maintain the flow of ideas in a text and signal the author’s purpose.
  • Author’s Purpose: The author’s intent either to inform or teach someone about something, to entertain people, or to persuade or convince the audience to do or not do something.
  • Text Structure: The author’s method of organizing a text.
  • Rhetorical Question: A question to which no answer is expected.

Duration

50 minutes/1 class period

Prerequisite Skills

Prerequisite Skills haven't been entered into the lesson plan.

Materials

  • crocodile or alligator poem, such as:
  • “The Crocodile’s Toothache” by Shel Silverstein.

http://www.qu-i-x.com/crocodile.html

  • “How Doth the Little Crocodile” by Lewis Carroll.

http://www.poetry-online.org/carroll_how_doth_the_little_crocodile.htm

  • Teachers may substitute other texts to provide a range of reading and level of text complexity.
  • Compare/Contrast handout (L-8-1-2_Compare Contrast and KEY.doc)
  • “What is a Watershed?” Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Conservation

http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/watershed/13945/what_is_a_watershed_/588795   

Related Unit and Lesson Plans

Related Materials & Resources

The possible inclusion of commercial websites below is not an implied endorsement of their products, which are not free, and are not required for this lesson plan.

This site offers famous speeches in American history. It is an excellent resource for readers who are ready to go beyond the standard to identify text structure.

 

Formative Assessment

  • View

    The goal of this lesson is to build upon prior knowledge of nonfiction text structures with a focus on compare/contrast and question/answer.

    • To assess students’ grasp of the concepts, observe students as they complete the study guide questions.
    • Focus on students’ ability to
      • analyze how nonfiction text is structured.
      • identify transition words that support text structure.
      • cite evidence to support identification of text structure.

Suggested Instructional Supports

  • View
    Scaffolding, Active Engagement, Explicit Instruction
    W: Guide students to explore how compare/contrast and question/answer text structures may be formatted and consider how transitions and text features support the author’s purpose. 
    H: Engage students using a poem to activate their prior knowledge of terms and to introduce text structure. 
    E: Guide students to analyze a text for structure and have them cite evidence in a graphic organizer. 
    R: Provide time for students to refine comprehension of compare/contrast text structure by answering study guide questions, followed by class discussion. 
    E: Have students demonstrate their understanding by locating and citing text examples of phrasing and transitions used to support text structure. 
    T: Differentiate instruction with appropriate material to enable students to achieve comprehension at their conceptual levels. 
    O: Organize learning experiences from whole-class instruction to small-group or individual demonstration of knowledge, and then return to the whole class for the assessment activities. 

Instructional Procedures

  • View

    Focus Question: How does an author use text structure to support purpose?

    To engage students in the lesson, read aloud “The Crocodile’s Toothache” or another crocodile/alligator poem listed under Materials. Ask students what they already know about crocodiles, and whether the poem supports what they know or differs from it. Discuss other references to alligators or crocodiles in literature, such as the crocodile in Peter Pan, “crocodile/alligator tears,” and songs.

    Part 1

    Direct students to read “What’s the difference between an alligator and a crocodile?” Ask, “What is the primary text structure used in this article?” (comparison/contrast) Then tell students they will complete a worksheet to help them understand how the structure is developed in the article.

    Hand out copies of the Compare/Contrast handout (L-8-1-2_Compare Contrast and KEY.doc) and instruct students how to complete it. Emphasize that they must cite evidence from the article to support their answers. Students may work by themselves or with a partner.

    As a class, review answers to the Compare/Contrast handout. Then ask, “What is the author’s purpose in the article?” (to help readers understand how the animals are alike and different). Say, “The author’s main purpose is to inform about two animals by comparing and contrasting them. Why would the author choose compare/contrast as the primary text structure?” If students have difficulty answering, remind them that differentiating alligators and crocodiles may be confusing to some people. Guide students to see that the use of compare/contrast text structure allows the author to clarify the differences for reader.

    Part 2

    Say, “Now we are going to discuss another text structure: question/answer. This structure may be used for an entire text, but it is more often used in paragraphs, sentences, or headings.” List the following on the board/interactive whiteboard for student reference:

    • using a singular question and then answering it within the text
    • using a singular rhetorical question (a question whose answer the reader already knows)
    • using a series of rhetorical questions to lead the reader to consider a situation in a particular way

    Ask, “How does a question/answer strategy help the reader?” Give students time to respond. Help them see that this structure guides the reader to participate in determining meaning and recalling information and may help the reader pay closer attention. Say, “The question is often based on factual knowledge, and the answer is frequently a definition or judgment.”

    Direct students to read “What is a Watershed?” Ask students to find an example of question/answer structure in the text. (in the first paragraph) Ask, “Which format for the question/answer text is used here?” (using a singular question and then answering it within the text) Help students see that this structure is used to focus the information in the passage and to identify the key ideas. In addition, these are probably the most immediate questions that come to mind because the topic is unfamiliar to many people.

    Say, “‘What’s the difference between an alligator and a crocodile?’ also uses a question/answer structure. Where or how is it used?” (The title is a question, and the rest of the article answers the question.) Guide students to see how the question provides the main focus of the article and how the compare/contrast structure is developed in response to the key question.

    Have students work with partners to write a paragraph about a topic familiar to both of them using a question/answer structure. Possible topics might include what a school rule means, what a particular sports strategy or move means, or what a particular food or popular toy is. Have students share their work with the class.

    Extension:

    Using the Common Transitions Chart as a resource (L-8-1-1_Common Transitions and KEY.doc), students may complete the following activities:

    • Students who are ready to go beyond the standard can choose a speech from the Online Speech Bank listed under Related Resources. Have students analyze a historical speech for text structures and features.
    • Students who need additional opportunities for understanding compare/contrast structure can be directed to the compare/contrast chart “Frogs” listed under Related Resources. Have students create a Venn diagram to visually display similarities and differences presented in the text.
    • Students who need additional opportunities for understanding question/answer structure can be directed to the USDA’s “Food Safety: Food Storage, Preparation & Handling.” Have them identify the type of question/answer strategy used and analyze why it is an effective strategy for the topic.

Related Instructional Videos

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Final 06/07/2013
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