Supporting Gifted Students with Expository (non-fiction) Text Analysis
Here you will find differentiated resources and lessons that integrate Depth and Complexity and Content Imperatives, Think Like a Disciplinarian, and Universal Themes to support teaching gifted students how to analyze expository (nonfiction) text.
Many times, students are so set on completing the reading task, they often gloss right over photographs and other images they encounter when reading nonfiction text. Students need to be explicitly taught to read those images. Just like reading written words, they examine details, make inferences, ask questions, draw conclusions, and the like.
Students need to be explicitly taught to read those images. Just like reading written words, they examine details, make inferences, ask questions, draw conclusions, and the like.
One way to build this habit is to give them an organizer/note-taking sheet on which they record they details from the picture, their initial impression, and finally any unanswered questions they have about the image(s). This helps them to deliberately make connections to nonfiction text.
This needs to be modeled for students. You can model with an image from the student text or simply find one from another book or the web that is engaging and draws in the reader.
Making Connections to Nonfiction Text
Making connections to informational (nonfiction) text is much more difficult than making connections to literature. For the most part, our elementary students are more exposed to literature both in school and at home.
Also as readers of literature, it's easier to make connections to a story. We can see parallels between a story character and ourselves or someone we know, and we can often connect to a situation or event in a story.
Developing Academic Language
The vocabulary students encounter when reading nonfiction (expository) text is often complex, making reading this genre labor intensive. This is true for gifted and general education students alike.
Having a background in Greek and Latin word roots will benefit students.
Help students develop a strong academic vocabulary by employing Depth and Complexity, Content Imperatives, and Keys.
Structures and Types of Nonfiction Text
The structure acts like a road map to help students navigate the text and better understand the author's purpose and message. When students understand the organization of the text they are reading, they are better able to understand what they are reading.
For example, knowing that the type of text you are reading is organized as a problem/ solution prompts you to look for the problem and the solution.
Nonfiction Text Organization-
- Cause and Effect
- Problem and Solution
Structure is Revealed Through Details
How do you Determine the Structure?
Students can employ Depth and Complexity to determine the structure type of the text. Prior to reading the text, students go through a picture walk of the text and identify key words and phrases and details of the text.
Model (whole group) with a simple text. I acted as scribe and we used the map (right).