Monday, January 2, 2012

Teaching Text Structure: Spider Magazine

I'm always looking around for good examples of text structure to share with my students. (And, of course, when I can't find what I want, I write my own.)

As I was browsing at a new bookstore this week, I picked up the latest issue of Spider Magazine. (My youngest son, who used to subscribe, requested Ranger Rick for Christmas this year instead--oh, well!) I went ahead and bought the issue because it includes a short article about polar bears, "The Dark Past of the Polar Bear." I was excited to find several great features in the article:

Action lead: The first four paragraphs of the article introduce the reader to the polar bear by showing the polar bear in action, catching a beluga whale.

The sun rises above the Arctic Ocean, spreading a fiery glow over the pale ice. Across the frozen sea, a white bear lumbers.

Compare and contrast: Four paragraphs in the article compare the polar bear to the brown bear. Words like difference, better suited, and but help to make the differences easy to understand, while also serving as good examples of text structure cue words in real life text.

Cause and effect: Many real-life articles combine text structures. In this article, there are several examples of causes and effects both at the sentence level and the paragraph level. Several sentences in the compare and contrast section show why certain adaptations help the polar bear. At the end of the article, a cause and effect paragraph shows why changes in climate affect the polar bear.

As I'm just about to start teaching about animal adaptations in science and text structure in reading, I'm looking forward to sharing this text with students.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for sharing. Guess I'll be heading to the book store to pick up a copy of Spider Magazine. Can't wait to use the article with my class.