Writing Structure Plays a BIG part in Learning to Read.
Writing structure plays a big part in learning to read. Different types of writing such as stories, a reports or poems have different structures. Each of these types is used for different purposes and therefore uses different structures to deliver the author’s message.
While authors choose the structure to deliver their messages, readers use comprehension strategies that fit a particular piece of writing. These strategies are based on how the information is organized.
Readers can anticipate what information will be revealed in a writing piece when they understand text structure. Understanding this writing information helps readers organize ideas for discussion and retelling. More detailed information can be found on the following power point. http://www.slideshare.net/elkissn/teaching-text-structure
The structure of a recipe
In this article, I will use a recipe to demonstrate how much easier it is to read how to cook if the structure is meaningful. It is the authors who make decisions about how to present information to readers in a way that will be understood. They use the best writing organisation to present what they want to say. The example of a recipe is a How-To piece of reading that presents the information in a series of directions. In this article I will use a peanut butter sandwich to illustrate how structure in reading supports understanding.
Being familiar with the different features in specific writing types makes it easier for children to read. As an example, the organisation of a recipe makes cooking easier for the cook. Once the child knows that the list at the top of the recipe is the items needed to make the food, he will at least be able to know that he has to put these items out on the bench as a first step.
Peanut Butter Sandwich
2 pieces of bread
In this case he has to search the pantry for peanut butter and bread and the fridge for butter.
1. Spread butter on two slices of bread
2. Spread peanut butter on both slices of bread
3. Put one slice onto the second slice
4. Cut the sandwich in two
5. Eat the sandwiches
Then once the first step is completed, reading the method to know what to do is about how to make the sandwich. Making sandwiches is an everyday occurrence so young readers have lots of information about how to make sandwiches. This knowledge will support reading accuracy.
When reading recipes, the eyes move quickly from the ingredient’s list to the recipe’s method. The purpose of the recipe structure is to make life easy for the cook. When mixing/cutting etc the cook frequently refers to the ingredient’s list for specific quantities. The shortened recipe structure helps the cook proceed quickly with getting food on the table.
The method of the recipe uses verbs to tell the cook what to do. The instructions are given step by step in shortened simple sentences. This makes it easy for the cook to understand and execute the instructions.
Authors use the special structures to deliver information meaningfully so that the reader is supported in understanding the author’s message easily. A recipe is simplified to cater for the purpose of cooking. Show your child the text structure before reading to improve reading and comprehension.
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