Lesson Plan

Exploring Ways Authors Use Text Structures to Convey Meaning


Grade Levels

Related Academic Standards

Assessment Anchors

Eligible Content

Big Ideas




In this lesson, students will explore ways authors use text structures to convey meaning. Students will:

  • analyze nonfiction text structures and explain how ideas are developed.
  • demonstrate understanding of nonfiction text structures through oral presentation.
  • explain the relationship of text structure to author’s purpose.

Essential Questions

  • How do readers know what to believe in what they read, hear, and view?
  • How do strategic readers create meaning from informational and literary text?


  • Author’s Purpose: The author’s intent to inform or teach someone about something, to entertain people, or to persuade or convince the audience to do or not do something.
  • Informational Text: It is nonfiction, written primarily to convey factual information. Informational texts comprise the majority of printed material adults read (e.g., textbooks, newspapers, reports, directions, brochures, technical manuals, etc.).
  • Text Structure: The author’s method of organizing a text.
  • Cause/Effect: Causes stem from actions and events, and effects are what happen as a result of the action or event.
  • Compare/Contrast: Placing together characters, situations, or ideas to show common or differing features in literary selections.
  • Problem/Solution: An organizational structure in nonfiction texts, where the author typically presents a problem and possible solutions to it.
  • Sequence: The order in which events take place.


45–90 minutes/1–2 class periods

Prerequisite Skills


You need at least one example of each nonfiction text structure at the reading level of your students. The following examples have been chosen because they have the distinct traits of each text structure. Teachers may substitute other books or materials to provide a range of reading and level of text complexity.



  •  “Q&A: Daniel Radcliffe”


  • I Wonder Why Caterpillars Eat So Much: And Other Questions About Life Cycles by Belinda Weber. Kingfisher, 2008.
  • Scholastic Question and Answer Series (various science titles)
  • Bill Nye the Science Guy’s Consider the Following: A Way Cool Set of Science Questions, Answers, and Ideas to Ponder by Bill Nye. Hyperion Books for Children, 2000.
  • Why? The Best Ever Question and Answer Book About Nature, Science and the World Around You by Catherine Ripley. Maple Tree Press, 2004.
  • I Wonder Why Zippers Have Teeth: And Other Questions About Inventions by Barbara Taylor. Kingfisher, 2003.



  • A River Ran Wild: An Environmental History by Lynne Cherry. Sandpiper, 2002.
  • Sparrow Jack by Mordicai Gerstein. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003.



  • “How to Grow Salt Crystals” available at


  • Science in Seconds for Kids: Over 100 Experiments You Can Do in Ten Minutes or Less by Jean Potter. Jossey-Bass, 1995.
  • Janice VanCleave’s Earth Science for Every Kid: 101 Easy Experiments That Really Work by Janice VanCleave. Wiley, 1991.
  • Harriet Tubman: A Woman of Courage by the editors of Time for Kids with Renée Skelton. HarperCollins, 2005.
  • recipes


Cause/ Effect:




Other Materials:

Related Unit and Lesson Plans

Related Materials & Resources

The possible inclusion of commercial websites below is not an implied endorsement of their products, which are not free, and are not required for this lesson plan.

Related materials and resources haven't been entered into the lesson plan.

Formative Assessment


Suggested Instructional Supports


Instructional Procedures


  • Current Rating





Links are no longer available

Posted more than a year ago
Standards Aligned System
Data is Loading...

Under Construction
Thank you for your patience. Not all features of the site are currently available.