Saturday, September 18, 2010

Unusual Text Structures: Geographical Order

If you're working with text structure, you may have noticed that there are some books and texts that just can't be placed in the typical categories of chronological order, compare and contrast, problem/solution, cause and effect, and description.

It can be fun to take a closer look at books that show unusual text structures. Often, these different organizational patterns are very obvious and easy for students to notice. Two of my favorite examples are by Marilyn Singer. I'd call the organization of these books geographical order, as the author moves systematically around the world to explain her ideas.

Nine o' Clock Lullaby: What's happening at 9:00? In this book, the author shows people around the world at the same moment in time.

On the Same Day in March: Written by the same author, this book goes around the world and looks at weather on the same March day.

While geographical order is not one of the official text structures, it's still interesting to think about how different authors choose to organize their ideas.  These kinds of discussions can become a building block to more complex conversations about text structure.

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