The Food Group of Text Structures & Genres refers to the different ways in which information is organized in a text. Different text structures and genres have different features and various ways of communicating ideas. As students are exposed to different text structures and genres, they begin to develop an “understanding of the importance of specific features of texts” (BLD).
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UNDERSTANDING: Chapter 3 of the Early Reading Strategy deepened my understanding of how to develop student’s understanding of text structures and genres. Specifically, I learned the importance of reading aloud to children and how doing so “exposes them to a variety of literature” and develops “familiarity with a variety of genres” (p. 24).
UNDERSTANDING: Chapter 7 of CTW deepened my understanding of the importance of providing students with different text structures and genres as it explained how it contributes to their learning. It states that “to create readers who think about what they read, we must help them become familiar with a variety of ways that authors organize ideas in their writing” (p. 103).
INSTRUCTION: The activity “Practicing Poetry Structures” on the BLD introduces poetry structures to students. Students examine if poems rhyme, if they are silly if they are funny, if they are serious, and if they are intended for an audience. Once students have studied the different structures of poems, they can create their own! This instructional approach is useful as it builds students knowledge and then allows them to apply their knowledge and create a poem that is meaningful to them.
INSTRUCTION: The activity “Designing Music Albums” is an effective and engaging activity that exposes students to different text structures. Students design their own CD cover and consider what to include that would appeal to an audience. Students also reflect on the elements of music and write about such elements on the inside of their CD cover. This activity is meaningful and engaging to students as they add their personal touch.
UNDERSTANDING: The BLD explains different ways to teach text structures and genres to students. This section deepened my understanding of what type of instruction will promote student’s learning. I learned that students are most engaged when reading and writing activities have an authentic purpose. This contributed to my understanding by encouraging me to teach students structures and genres of text that support such authentic purposes (BLD).
ASSESSMENT: The BLD explains different ways to assess children’s understanding of text structures and genres. Teachers can implement informal assessment by asking students a series of questions after reading them a text. Questions such as: “What type of text is this? [and] What are the elements of this text?” (BLD) can be asked.
INSTRUCTION: The article “Creating a Classroom Library” by Gregory presents an overview of a series of steps that can be taken to create a classroom library. This is a useful resource as it explains how to include students in the process of creating the classroom library. There is also a video of educators “getting kids involved in planning the library”.
INSTRUCTION: The article “The Importance of Reading Widely” by Reading Rockets outlines and explains various types of texts that children should be exposed to. As well, a link to a large list of books that can be read to a child as a read-aloud or read independently by a child is provided. This is a great resource for an educator or parent looking for different structures or genres of books to expose children to.