Nonfiction Text Structures - Free Educational videos for Students in K-12 | Lumos Learning

Nonfiction Text Structures - Free Educational videos for Students in k-12

Nonfiction Text Structures - By Jen Jonson

00:0-1 nonfiction text structures . Let's talk a little bit about
00:03 nonfiction text structures . Most of you are quite familiar
00:07 with fictional text structures . This storyline probably looks very
00:11 familiar to most of you , based on stories you
00:13 bread and movies you've watched . Generally , when someone
00:16 is retailing a fictional tale , we'll start with the
00:18 beginning . Give us some of the characters . There'll
00:20 be a problem . The rising action is the characters
00:24 dealing with that problem . Usually , the climax comes
00:27 kind of near the end of the movie , when
00:29 the characters solve their big problem , and then we
00:31 have some kind of wrap up the end . Most
00:35 of us are very familiar with this fictional text or
00:38 movie structure . I'll never forget when my six year
00:41 old reassured her four year old sister not to worry
00:44 that the main character in the movie they were watching
00:46 was not really in mortal danger because , she says
00:50 , don't worry , J . C . They can't
00:52 kill them off . He's the main character , even
00:54 at that young of an age . She understood that
00:56 traditionally , movies were not killing off the main character
00:59 because they're the ones who needs to solve the problem
01:01 and killing them off early in the movie simply is
01:04 not interesting . So let's apply that then to nonfiction
01:07 text structure , that structure we saw on the previous
01:11 page with rising events and a problem to solve ,
01:14 and characters that does not apply to most nonfictional texts
01:17 . So what is nonfiction text structure ? It refers
01:21 simply to the ways the authors organized the information ,
01:23 and they're non fiction texts . The fictional text story
01:26 maps just isn't going to work , and I gotta
01:28 have some visual clues along the left for you .
01:30 So you see these building structures that I have along
01:33 the screen and based simply on the structure of each
01:36 building . You can probably determine a little bit about
01:38 it . You can tell that thesis one from the
01:41 top here , this one's going to become a house
01:43 . This top one here looks like it might be
01:45 the frame for a skyscraper . This might be maybe
01:48 the apartment building in progress , and this other structure
01:51 of the bottom does not look like any structure that's
01:54 probably going to house people . To me , it
01:56 looks a little bit more like the Eiffel Tower or
01:58 something that's being designed for aesthetic appeal . So what
02:04 is in it ? for you to learn about nonfiction
02:06 text structure again . Nonfiction doesn't have that nice plot
02:10 line that we're all really familiar with . That helps
02:12 us anticipate what's going to happen in movies . So
02:15 we need some kind of structure to help you understand
02:18 and know what's going to come up in the nonfiction
02:20 text that you read . So if you know these
02:22 text structures that we're going to cover on the next
02:24 several slides , this will really help you understand where
02:27 the articles going . What's the main idea and what
02:29 is the purpose for writing , just like we mentioned
02:33 earlier Over on the left , Just checking out the
02:35 frame structure of these buildings helped you determine a lot
02:38 about the purpose they might be used for . But
02:41 just looking at the structures of these buildings , I
02:43 can get a good idea as to how they will
02:45 be used and what the purpose of them is .
02:47 When you determine text structure , which you'll be asked
02:50 to do in the rest of this session , the
02:51 first thing I want you to do is simply just
02:53 remember the S from the sq three R that we've
02:56 already talked about and just give the passage a good
02:58 skim . Ah , lot of times the author is
03:00 going to give away their purpose right in the title
03:02 and headings . And then you will also be looking
03:05 for some keywords . I'm giving you a handout that
03:07 has some of the key words that help cut a
03:09 giveaway some of the different structures . And second ,
03:13 after you finish reading something , always ask yourself ,
03:15 What was the authors purpose behind that ? They're trying
03:18 to propose a solution where they're trying to get me
03:21 to see a relationship between cause and effect . And
03:23 we'll go through these wisdom tangible example so that you
03:26 can see let's check out the two that I have
03:29 linked here . So the first one is a NA
03:31 article about Daniel Radcliffe and right at the top of
03:34 this article . When I skim it , I see
03:36 a really big give away . The title says Q
03:39 and A . Daniel Radcliffe and one of the structures
03:41 that were going to be looking at on the next
03:43 slides is called the question and answer structure faced on
03:46 the title . Just by skimming that I have a
03:48 pretty good idea that the structure used in this article
03:51 is simply going to be . The author writes a
03:53 question or asks Daniel question , and they right exactly
03:57 what he said . And if I skimmed down ,
03:59 I could see that's exactly what's happening . So time
04:02 for kids is asking a question . And then they
04:04 are providing the verbatim answer that Daniel Radcliffe provided .
04:08 Let's go back and look at another example , watching
04:10 out for vultures . Let's see if we could determine
04:13 the text structure for this one by looking at the
04:15 title or if we need to skim a little further
04:18 . So I'm watching out for vultures . We kind
04:20 of have a sub headline or subtitle . Here .
04:22 Farmers giving medicine to cows are accidentally poisoning vultures again
04:28 . So we see that we have a cause here
04:31 and in effect . So I'm guessing this will probably
04:33 be a cause effect Structured article on If I read
04:36 through . If I can't always determine it right away
04:40 , I'll look at the beginning . The first paragraph
04:42 . What's good for 1 may not be for all
04:43 , especially in the Animal kingdom , and talks about
04:46 a drug that is good and provides pain relief .
04:48 But it is toxic to vultures . I get that
04:51 at the beginning of the article And if I scroll
04:54 down to the end of the article , the way
04:57 a drug given to a cow could end up killing
04:58 a vulture is one example of how interconnected the food
05:01 chain is . So I can see that much of
05:02 this article really seems to be intended to help me
05:07 understand the relationship between a drug that we're giving to
05:11 cattle and the effect that it's killing vultures . So
05:13 this is definitely they cause affect kind of structure .
05:17 Now , let's look at those different types of text
05:19 structures that I've kind of been hinting at , and
05:21 then we'll apply them to some articles to hopefully really
05:24 clear this up for everyone . There are six major
05:27 nonfiction text structures description , sequence , compare and contrast
05:31 , problem solution , cause and effect in question and
05:33 answer beneath each . You see that I have provided
05:36 a description . We're gonna walk through these one at
05:38 a time , so I'm not gonna read this lied
05:40 to you . But I do want you to have
05:42 it for reference when you're working through the activity later
05:44 , where you need to determine which text structure is
05:46 being used . You'll also see that I have included
05:49 some key words that help signify which structures being used
05:53 . So these air some signal words that will help
05:55 you identify which text structures being used . Let's go
05:58 through each , though one at a time . So
06:00 when authors are using description as their nonfiction text structure
06:04 , their purpose is to define a topic , an
06:07 idea , person , place or thing . Something is
06:10 being described by its features , characteristics for examples .
06:14 So in this article about undersea volcanoes , the primary
06:17 purpose of this article is not to persuade us it's
06:20 not to compare undersea volcanoes with undersea mountains . It's
06:24 not to propose a problem and a solution . It's
06:28 definitely not a question answer type of format . It's
06:31 simply trying to describe undersea volcanoes by communicating their characteristics
06:37 and features with us . So if you skim this
06:38 article that's on the screen , you'll see that the
06:41 information provided does just that . So in our session
06:45 , when you're asked to provide a graphic organizer that
06:47 supports the text structure that you have identified , probably
06:50 what you want to do is to create a concept
06:52 map so descriptive text structures have a main idea .
06:56 Main topic . This would be undersea volcanoes , and
06:59 then there are details provided about that main idea within
07:02 the article . Please remember here that just about every
07:05 article is going to have a nice element of description
07:08 . So before you just say , Oh , yes
07:10 , it's definitely the descriptive text structure because I see
07:13 some details provided . Make sure that the authors primary
07:16 purpose is not one of the other text structures .
07:19 So keep that in mind because a lot of these
07:21 text structures will kind of relate to one another ,
07:23 just as with the physical text structures many of them
07:27 involved would , and many of them involves , um
07:29 , iron and nails , and many of them evolves
07:32 in similar elements . But a structure does have a
07:35 primary purpose when it's all said and done . And
07:37 that's what you're trying to decide is what is the
07:40 primary structure being used in the articles that I give
07:43 you the second type of text structure that you will
07:46 often see a sequence thes describe events or items in
07:51 the order that they happen or they tell you how
07:53 to do something , or they will tell you how
07:55 to make something so a lot of times you will
07:57 see the transitions for a second . Next Finally ,
08:00 you know after that , and this article here is
08:03 describing how mummies were made , and that is definitely
08:06 something that had to be done in a particular sequence
08:08 or order of events . And so the author decided
08:11 to use sequence as their text structure because they're working
08:14 through a process with us third text structure that you'll
08:18 often see a nonfiction is compare and contrast . And
08:20 here is an article from The New York Times that
08:23 is comparing to baseball stadiums . And I can tell
08:27 right from the title again , the title is a
08:28 really good giveaway that this is a compare contrast structure
08:31 coming up says to new baseball palaces , oneness ,
08:34 stoic . And when it's scrappy , I could just
08:36 skim through the multimedia pictures . I can see a
08:39 picture of New York Stadium and I see a picture
08:42 of the Mets new home . And based on this
08:44 , I can pretty much take a very well educated
08:48 yes , that this article is comparing and contrasting Yankee
08:51 Stadium in the Mets New Stadium . If I begin
08:54 reading these articles , my guess is confirmed . If
08:56 you look at the second paragraph , you can see
08:59 he's a really nice compare contrast being used by the
09:02 author Yeah , their rights . What's more , each
09:05 stadium subtly reflects the character of the franchises that built
09:08 them . Yankee Stadium is the kind of stoic ,
09:10 self conscious monument to history that benefits the most successful
09:14 franchise American sports . The new home of the Mets
09:17 , meanwhile , or , in contrast , is scrappy
09:20 or more light hearted . It plays with history .
09:22 Fast and loose is if it were just another form
09:24 of entertainment . So when you're looking at tech structures
09:27 and you find words like meanwhile or on the other
09:29 hand , or in contrast to , you'll have a
09:31 good hint there that the author is using a compare
09:34 contrast structure to really show the difference between two items
09:39 if you identify Compare contrast , is this text structure
09:41 in one of our readings . Here's a couple of
09:44 really nice graphic organizer is that you can use to
09:47 defend your identification of the text structure . You may
09:50 use a van diagram , or you can use a
09:52 T chart , and you could put the two stadiums
09:56 name in the rectangle the top , and then list
09:58 the reasons they are alike unless the reasons that they
10:01 are different . 1/4 common nonfiction text structure is the
10:05 cause and effect text structure . Here we have another
10:09 article from The New York Times that is talking about
10:12 how climate change the cause is changing people's behavior in
10:16 their vacation patterns . That's the effect . This one
10:19 is much harder to distinguish from the title time for
10:22 a vacation climate change in the human clock . I
10:25 could see that there's two things mentioned . A change
10:27 in the clock . I'm not sure if this is
10:29 maybe problem and solution or cause and effect , but
10:31 if I skimmed through the article , I'll get some
10:34 information . The first paragraph talks about how climate change
10:38 has caused birds to lay their eggs earlier and bears
10:41 emerge from hibernation sooner . So again , I'm seeing
10:44 a pretty good hint here that this is cause and
10:46 effect because it's talking about the cause of climate change
10:49 on animals , which would be the effect on animals
10:52 . And then the next paragraph goes into . As
10:55 it turns out , humans are not excluded from such
10:57 behavioral changes . Over the last 30 years , a
10:59 new study has found that peak park attendance has shifted
11:02 by about four days , probably in response to climate
11:06 change . The author goes on to quote some experts
11:09 . Let's say , because you know , July is
11:11 hotter now than it used to be . People are
11:12 visiting , um , some of the national parks earlier
11:15 in the year . Now we're in the second column
11:17 , where it says it makes the Birdie National Park
11:19 . Visitors peeked in terms of the days they visited
11:23 most often on July 10th in 1979 and now it's
11:26 nine days earlier . July 1st cause and effect and
11:29 problem and solution can often be very closely related .
11:33 It's very difficult for an author to write a piece
11:35 about something having a problem and addressing a solution without
11:40 also addressing the cause of the problem . So whenever
11:43 I'm thinking that I have cause effect , I always
11:45 want to skim through the entire article and read it
11:48 to make sure that no proposed solutions are indicated in
11:52 this piece . And as you can see , this
11:53 article does not mention anything about how we need to
11:56 stop climate change or the solutions to this . It's
11:59 simply writing about a cause , climate change and the
12:03 effect people are visiting national parks when it's not quite
12:06 so hot . Here's some great graphic organizers for cause
12:09 and effect , so you can have one cause this
12:11 would be the climate change , global warming and then
12:14 the effect . So there were effects on animals or
12:16 effects on on birds , bears and people . There
12:20 was effects on different national parks were being affected differently
12:24 . So we have kind of the one cause and
12:26 multiple effects you can often have , sometimes several causes
12:30 that lead to a cumulative effect . So it's basically
12:33 the same . Graphic organizer just reversed problems . Solution
12:36 for Problem Solution The main purpose of the author is
12:39 to communicate and share with the solution to a problem
12:43 . So in this New York Times article , we
12:45 can see that hospitals have had the problem of employees
12:49 not washing their hands as often as they should .
12:51 So one of the solutions to that problem is they
12:54 put in these little electric eyes that kind of spying
12:57 on people , and if , as they come in
12:59 and leave a room , attracts whether or not they
13:01 go to the sink and actually wash their hands .
13:03 And this kind of electric I spying on employees really
13:08 counting how many times they really wash their hands had
13:12 an effect where the weekly rate of hand washing was
13:15 85% and went up to 91% . Now that is
13:19 a cause and effect . But the main point of
13:21 this article is really talking about a unique , innovative
13:23 solution to the problem of getting people to wash their
13:26 hands as often as they should in the medical industry
13:29 . So here we have a problem solution tech structure
13:32 . I will often use the fish bone graphic organizer
13:35 when I am pulling apart this problem solution tech structure
13:39 . So the problem and this one is people are
13:41 not washing their hands as often as they need .
13:43 Teoh , in this article talks about that problem and
13:46 some of the other solutions that were opposed . So
13:49 I talked about , you know , simply education was
13:51 a proposed solution . You need to wash your hands
13:53 more . This is why but again , a lot
13:55 of those previous solutions only got hand washing up to
13:59 85% . If you come across an article that has
14:02 several different problems and talks about one solution to address
14:05 them all , then you could go with this graphic
14:07 organizer shown beneath the fish bone . So here is
14:11 an interesting article . Is this problem solution or cause
14:14 and effect ? So we look at this article .
14:16 Can Venice be saved ? You see that the first
14:19 part of the article talks about how business is ,
14:23 Ah , beautiful city . It's It's built on a
14:25 Siris of canals that serve as its streets , but
14:29 the city is sinking . You see , In the
14:31 second paragraph , city was built on a soft ,
14:33 marshy land in a lagoon or shallow body of water
14:36 , and over the years the buildings have been sinking
14:40 . So there's our problem . Meanwhile , climate changes
14:43 have caused a nearby Adriatic Sea to rice , and
14:46 we have , like a problem , and it caused
14:47 in the same paragraph . So this is a problem
14:49 , solution or cause and effect . E could tell
14:52 from this main heading here , though , that the
14:54 author really is wanting to focus on a problem .
14:57 They put it in blue , and they gave it
14:59 a heading to . The problem is every year from
15:01 October to March , strong winds and high tides cause
15:03 terrible floods . These floods could destroy homes and businesses
15:07 . The sea water has damaged art treasures and historic
15:09 buildings . Some experts say Venice will sink eight inches
15:12 in the next 50 years . A plan to save
15:15 the city again . We have a color change in
15:18 a heading here to show us that this is important
15:20 and that sounds very much like a solution . So
15:22 we have a problem and then we're following it up
15:24 with a solution . Group wants to Save Venice It's
15:27 come up with a $2 billion plan to stop the
15:29 flooding . The plan is called Project Moses . Huge
15:32 underwater gates . We placed a three interests is to
15:34 the Venice Lagoon . What act his dams to hold
15:36 back the seawater . Some people think this is harmful
15:39 . They think shutting out seawater might hurt the lagoons
15:42 , fish and plant life . Somehow balance between the
15:44 two sides has to be worked out . So this
15:46 problem solution or cause and effect in this case ,
15:49 we really need to look at how much time the
15:51 author spent on each . There's plenty of cause climate
15:54 changes . The weather is causing the water to rise
15:57 . But really , this author spends most of the
15:59 time structuring out at least an argument where there is
16:01 a problem and then a solution . I would say
16:04 I don't think this is the most well structured ,
16:06 a well written piece because it is hard to determine
16:10 if it is simply cause an effect , or if
16:12 really , this is a problem solution piece . There's
16:15 not a lot of time devoted to the solution ,
16:18 just a couple of paragraphs . Just avoid classifying an
16:22 article Is problem solution just a the end of If
16:25 someone has spent the entire time talking about natural environments
16:29 to receive the polar bears are losing their habitat .
16:31 And then at the very last part , the author
16:33 says , somebody needs to do something . We need
16:35 to raise money and stop this just a few sentence
16:39 at the end saying something needs to be done .
16:41 We need to stop this . That is not enough
16:43 attention on a solution for that to change from a
16:46 cause effect text structure to problem solution . So if
16:50 you're going to classify a text structures problem solution ,
16:52 make sure the author has spent and dedicated a portion
16:55 of that piece a good chunk of that piece to
16:58 really focusing on a solution beyond . Just somebody needs
17:01 to do something . We need to raise money ,
17:03 but really a specific solution , and you can see
17:05 in this article the specific solution is Project Moses ,
17:09 and the author does go on to describe those gates
17:11 . If this piece just said water is rising in
17:14 Venice because of floods and hurricanes and climate changes ,
17:19 and we need to do something to save Venice .
17:21 We need to raise a bunch of money and save
17:23 Venice . Then it would not be a problem solution
17:25 structure because really no specific solution was given and very
17:29 little time was given to it . Most of that
17:31 focus of the of an article like that would be
17:33 on the causes and the effects . And , you
17:35 know , just we need to do something is not
17:37 enough for it to be a problem solution . Tech
17:39 structure . And then the last text structure is question
17:43 . Answer . That's the one we looked at with
17:45 the Harry Potter interview with Daniel Radcliffe earlier . That
17:48 was really , really easy to identify , so we
17:51 won't spend much time on it . You'll see it
17:54 often in magazines where the magazine list out there question
17:57 . So National Geographic kids said , You have a
18:00 hero . What were you like ? Is a child
18:02 ? What's normal day for you ? And then you
18:04 just have the authors ? Answer here doesn't always have
18:06 to be an interview . It could be some common
18:09 questions about a topic and to the author almost uses
18:12 the question is the topic sentence and then goes on
18:14 to answer it . But whenever you see this format
18:17 where you have a clear question written all by itself
18:19 and then an answer , that's an easy one .
18:21 You're dealing with the question and answer text structure ,
18:24 so that seems pretty simple when I pull out really
18:28 clear examples of each . But remember , many nonfiction
18:30 texts will include some elements of multiple text structures .
18:35 They will be descriptive . They might even describe things
18:37 in a certain order , so you're not sure if
18:39 it's description or sequence . They'll talk about problems .
18:42 Still , talk about cause and effect . So your
18:45 job is to determine the primary text structure being used
18:50 to do that . Remember to skim , look at
18:52 the title , look at the headings and look for
18:54 the keywords , and then really spend a lot of
18:56 your time focusing on the author's purpose . How much
18:59 time and space did they devote to do the different
19:01 elements ? So sit down and put yourself in their
19:04 shoes and try and figure out why were they writing
19:06 this article ? And let's look at this hyperlinked example
19:08 here that we've seen earlier in our course . So
19:11 we have bells , the buffalo a giant of a
19:14 find . Now , in this non fiction piece ,
19:17 I have to try to figure out which text structure
19:19 is being used someone to eliminate some of the ones
19:22 right off the bat . It's definitely not question and
19:25 answer . Another one I think I can eliminate right
19:27 away is sequence . This doesn't seem to be telling
19:30 me how to do something . Information is provided ,
19:33 but it doesn't seem critical that it's a step 123
19:35 or this had to come before this . So I'm
19:37 gonna eliminate those two right off the bat . Problem
19:40 and solution , cause and effect description and compare contrast
19:43 or what I have left . So let's look at
19:46 the problem and solution . I don't see anything mentioned
19:49 at the beginning of the article about this frog being
19:52 a problem . This article is not written from the
19:54 point of view of Oh , it's such a problem
19:56 that this ancient frog is gone . So because there's
20:00 not a problem mentioned anywhere at the beginning of the
20:02 piece , I'm going to get that one right off
20:03 the plate as well . Now I'm left with cause
20:06 and effect . Compare contrast and description . So let's
20:09 see if we confined causes and effects . I don't
20:12 see really any effects anywhere , except that this frog
20:14 is gone . But this is a prehistoric frog .
20:18 So I don't see this is being really focused on
20:21 the effect of the frog being gone . I don't
20:23 see any mention of to the causes . This is
20:26 not talking about the media or any kind of drastic
20:29 changes that wiped out these frogs . So I don't
20:31 see any causes or effects anywhere through here when I
20:34 look at headings or topics of paragraphs . So now
20:39 I'm simply down to This is either a descriptive piece
20:42 or this is a compare and contrast piece . So
20:45 let me skim through . I see Giant is emphasized
20:48 that this is an important find that we found this
20:51 information about this humongous frog that lived long ago .
20:54 It was a surprising discovery far from home . Why
20:59 wasn't it found in South America where it lived ?
21:01 And I could go through its talking again about how
21:04 this is one of the very large frog . It's
21:06 giving me some really good information about the frog .
21:08 I have some details at the beginning on how how
21:11 large it grew . I know where it was found
21:15 . I know where it lived and then I get
21:21 again some more information about this frog . Not only
21:24 was it huge , it was powerful out of protective
21:25 shields and really good details about the frog . And
21:28 then I do have a comparison chart right here .
21:30 Now , before I go up , it's definitely compare
21:32 contrast . I will remind myself that wait a second
21:35 . I didn't get any compare contrast information until this
21:38 late in the article . Pretty much the end .
21:40 And at this point we're talking . We are comparing
21:42 and contrasting just the size of bells , Abu Foe
21:46 to the American bullfrog and the Goliath frog . Those
21:50 American bullfrog and Goliath frog are not mentioned anywhere so
21:54 far in this article . So in a compare contrast
21:56 piece , we would have been comparing American Bullfrog and
22:00 the Goliath Frog to Belleville Buffo frequently , constantly through
22:04 the peace , not just a the end . So
22:06 even though a small element of compare contrast comes in
22:10 at the end , that is not the primary purpose
22:13 of this text structure . This text is filled with
22:16 description characteristics , details about this new frog they found
22:22 . So based on that , I feel comfortable identifying
22:25 this text structure as description . So sometimes when you
22:29 are trying to determine which text structures being used ,
22:32 ah , process of elimination helped . If you have
22:34 any questions about text structure or are struggling with the
22:37 activity , please let me know right away .


This video discusses nonfiction text structures and how they affect nonfiction comprehension of the genre.


Nonfiction Text Structures is a free educational video by Jen Jonson.It helps students in grades 4 practice the following standards RI.4.5.

This page not only allows students and teachers view Nonfiction Text Structures but also find engaging Sample Questions, Apps, Pins, Worksheets, Books related to the following topics.

1. RI.4.5 : Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or part of a text..





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