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.

Envision Gifted. Picture is Worth 1,000 Words

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

Envision Gifted. Nonfiction Sentence Frames.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. Making Connections to Nonfiction

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.

Envision Gifted. Picture is worth 1,000 words
A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words Example.

A Picture is Worth A Thousand Words Blank

Developing Academic Language

Envision Gifted. hink LIke a Linguist Etymology

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. Think Like a Linguist Etymologies Chart Blank

Envision Gifted. Think Like a Linguist Example

Think Like a Linguist Etymologies Chart Blank

Structures and Types of Nonfiction Text

Envision Gifted. Types of Nonfiction Poster from Class

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-

  • Description
  • Sequence
  • Comparison
  • Cause and Effect
  • Problem and Solution

Structure is Revealed Through Details

How do you Determine the Structure?

Envision Gifted. Determine Nonfiction StructureStudents 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).

Envision Gifted. Nonfiction. Purpose is Revealed Through Structure.

Perspective Contributes to Content and Style.

One Event Examined Through Different Eyes

Envision Gifted. 4th Informational Text

Examining Different Perspectives and Ethical Issues on Current Events

Envision Gifted. Things Rarely Black and White

Envision Gifted. Perspectives and Ethical Issues

Multiple Perspectives Potatoes in School