Ch 5: Role of Text Structure: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.5

About This Chapter

The videos in this chapter will support classroom learning on analyzing structure within a text in support of claims about its themes and events. Incorporate the videos into your lessons with the tips provided at the end of the summary.

Standard: Analyze how a text uses structure to emphasize key points or advance an explanation or analysis. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.5)

About This Chapter

Students who complete these lessons should be able to connect the structure of a text to its major themes, explaining how the former frames and/or magnifies the latter. They will be able to articulate processes they use to find and categorize the connections. To support these goals, our experienced educators explain how to:

  • Describe the relationship between structure and theme
  • Evaluate an author's use of foreshadowing within a text
  • Incorporate several analytical strategies to evaluate structure

Your 9th and 10th grade students will show proficiency in this standard as they consistently develop an understanding of central ideas which are supported by structural realities within sources. They will be able to identify how an author is attempting to shape both their argument and the thought process of the reader through various literary devices. Students who master these skills will have a firm basis for objective analysis of source material.

How to Use These Lessons in Your Classroom

Not sure how to include these lessons with your instruction? Here are some ideas to get you started.

Lesson-related homework

Provide your students with the link for the video on structure analysis strategies and with a list of historical and social studies texts which demonstrate strong structural development. Some examples may include essays by W.E.B. DuBois or the Federalist Papers of Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. After the students watch the video they will read one of the texts on the list and identify how the author supported her or his ideas with structure.

Foreshadowing or just background?

There is a fine line between how an author uses events and data leading up to a certain point they are making to either support the idea objectively or to frame the idea with foreshadowing. Can your students tell the difference? Watch the video on foreshadowing in class then discuss specific examples in classroom texts. Have students decide whether the author is simply setting the stage or if they are using foreshadowing, or perhaps even red herrings, to influence the reader's opinion. They should support their answer with concepts they learned in the video.

Autobiographical storytelling

Watch the video on structure in writing in class. Have students think of a significant event or lesson in their life and write the story of that lesson using the concepts of structure identified in the video. At the end of the story they should briefly summarize the tools they used and why.

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