Informational Texts - Text Structure

Teach Starter Publishing
60 mins | Suitable for grades: 3 - 4

A 60-minute lesson in which students will identify and explore the structure of an informational text.

Tuning In

  • Watch the Informational Writing For Kids video on YouTube. After watching, ask the students:
    • Why do people write informational texts?
    • What does 'nonfiction' mean?
    • What text features might you find in an informational text?

Teacher Instruction

  • Discuss the structure of informational texts as outlined on slide 6 of the Developing Informative Writing Skills PowerPoint. Read through the first example text, Turtles, on slides 7-8. Subheadings have been added to the text to assist the students in identifying the structure.
  • Read through the class activity as outlined on slide 9. As a class, read through the second example text, Owls, on slides 10-11. Encourage the students to label the structure of the text as they are reading. Discuss the answers on slide 12. Highlight the factual content of the two texts, as well as the absence of any opinions.

Guided/Independent Learning

  • Choose a sequencing activity that best suits your class from the list on slide 13. These include texts about  Tyrannosaurus Rex and Thunderstorms. As a class, read through the text and the instructions for the activity.
  • Allow the students to work on the activity in groups of 2 or 3. Monitor and support the students as required.
  • As a class, discuss the correct sequence of the informational text. Discuss any techniques used by the students to help them sequence the text, e.g., topic sentences at each paragraph's start.

Wrapping Up

  • Select a range of goals for the unit and discuss these with the students. Allow the students to ask questions about each goal and encourage them to suggest some success criteria for each one. Display these goals in a prominent place in the classroom for the rest of the unit.


Extending Students

  • Encourage students to peer tutor others who may need assistance with the sequencing activity.

Supporting Students

  • Allow students to be supported by peer tutors during the sequencing activity or work in a small group with a teacher or teacher aide.

Suggested Assessment Strategies

  • used strategic whole class or individual questioning
  • observed student participation during learning activities
  • recorded student progress on a checklist
  • annotated student work samples
  • collected and reviewed student work samples
  • facilitated whole class or peer feedback sessions
  • encouraged student self-reflection
  • administered formal assessment tasks.

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