Mentor Monday has arrived again! This week’s theme is Non-Fiction Text Structures. These are different from Non-Fiction Text Features, even though those are important as well. When we are talking about Text Structures, we mean the way a non-fiction book is actually written. Does it answer questions? Does it describe a topic completely? Does it give a cause and effect? Text structures allow the student to identify how the author has written the book which will enable them to better understand the concept.
Today, I am going to focus on the text structure that is probably the most recognizable. The sequential structure puts events in order. Most biographies are written in this way, starting at the beginning of the person’s life and taking you all the way through the person’s life. This is perfect when you are only looking for a certain time period of a historical figure’s life to study. It means you may not need to read the entire book, but instead read just the part you are focusing on. However, many science topics also make sense to be structured in a sequential order. The book I am going to focus on today is The Emperor’s Egg by Martin Jenkins. Kids are fascinated by penguins, so it connects to them and is perfect for this time of year. What I love is the way it seems like a story rather than just facts thrown at the reader. The book starts by showing us a male Emperor penguin. He is taking care of an egg and the sequencing begins! The story takes us through the 2 months of the father holding the egg, to the egg starting to hatch, to the father feeding the baby, and finally to the mother returning to help take care of the child. There are facts dispersed through the pages as well. After reading, the students could use a sequential graphic organizer to put important events in order. A flapbook like the one below would work well for this (click the picture to grab the freebie!). This is one of the pages of my lapbook products that you can find in my TPT store.
If you do not have this book already, you can still use it in the classroom! It is read out lout here so your student’s can still enjoy the book and study its structure. Other books that work well for this structure are Fire! Fire! by Gail Gibbons (for younger kids) and The Boy Who Invented TV: The Story of Philo Farnsworth by Kathleen Krull (for older kids). If you haven’t read these books, you should check them out, even if it is just for yourself!