Monday, December 19, 2011

Text Structures: Compare/Contrast and Cause/Effect

This week, I've found two online texts to complement what I'm teaching in the classroom.

Compare and contrast: We are currently reading about Antarctica as we explore nonfiction texts. I have the MV FRAM Expedition Blog in my Google Reader, and I share it with students. It is well-written and interesting, and the kids are enjoying tracking the progress of each trip to Antarctica.

This post is a nice compare and contrast piece. The picture tells the story, and the text uses parallel structure and longer sentences to explain how the two days were so different. I like having quick little texts to show students as we transition from guided reading to core instruction, or to share during bus time and all of those extra minutes through the day.

Cause and Effect: We've been studying ecosystems in science. Last week, we studied how ecosystems change by reading A Place for Butterflies by Melissa Stewart. Then, we played the Project WILD game "Oh Deer!" to look at how a population can change.

Apparently, 2011 was a bad year for acorns. A lack of acorns will lead to changes in the populations of mice, squirrels, and deer, but may have other effects up the food chain.  I happened to come across this article a few weeks ago, and it turned out to be perfect for a discussion of cause and effect. It's a little difficult for my students, so I projected the printable view and summarized it. We made a chart to show the causes and effects

This is a nice counterpoint to the zoo mystery article from a few months ago. In that article, we had known effects, but questionable causes; in this one, we have a known cause, but anticipated effects.

I made a little debriefing sheet to talk about it with my students. Here it is on Slideshare.

1 comment:

  1. I absolutely adore your reading mini-lessons! Thanks for sharing! My kids are in LOVE with the Inference song you shared .. definitely a hit! I awarded you the Liebster Award - check it out on my blog!