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Analyze organizational methods
used in informational texts
Authors choose structure to organize
information and make their meaning
Readers use strategies to support
interpretation of text.
Authors use organization to develop their
point of view
They use different approaches to
support their purposes
They pick an organization format that will
help make their ideas clear to the
Can I see a pattern to
How are the ideas
Why has the author chosen this
particular organization pattern?
Chronological (or Sequence)
Cause and Effect
• Author provides descriptive details or
characteristics of a topic.
Description Key Words
• For example
• Another kind
• In addition
• Spatial words like
near, beyond, over,
Description Example 1
Coral snakes are distinguished by their
red, yellow/white, and black colored
banding. Most species of are small in
size. North American species average
around 3 feet in length, but
specimens of up to 5
feet or slightly larger
have been reported.
Description Example 2
Geologists classify types of rocks by
closely examining certain characteristics.
They often begin by looking at the rock
through a magnifying lens to check for
crystal structures, luster, and color.
Breaking the rock shows specimen’s
fracture or cleavage.
Story or information is told in the order
that the events occurred
First she sat in
the hard chair
Next she sat in
the soft chair
Finally, she sat in
the baby’s chair
Chronological Example (1)
First, Goldilocks sat in the great big,
Papa Bear chair, but it was too hard.
Then, she sat in the medium sized,
Mama Bear chair, but it was too soft.
Finally, she sat in the
little, bitty, Baby Chair,
and it was just right.
Chronological Example (2)
When the Anglo-Saxons conquered the
British Isles they introduced their
language which was composed of
common everyday words like boat and
Later, the Normans
added French words
Cause and Effect
The author establishes a link between
the way things are now and how they got
Cause and Effect Key
As a result
This led to
Order doesn’t matter
Sometimes the cause will be presented
…then the effect will follow
Cause/Effect Example (1)
Cause: During the experiment, Henry
poured the liquid bromine into the saline
Effect: His hypothesis
was proved correct
when the solution
Order still doesn’t matter
Sometimes the issues are presented
with the effects sited first…
…then the causes are offered as
Cause/Effect Example (2)
Effect: The future of gorillas in the wild is
at risk. Scientists predict that at the
present rate of decline, in 30 years all
the world’s wild gorillas will be gone.
Cause: Gorilla meat
is a dietary staple for
nearly 12 million
people in Africa.
One idea is presented first, followed by a
similar or different way of seeing things.
On the other
Seurat painted scenes of everyday life
full of realistic people and objects with
soft edges and lines. He wanted his art
to capture “feelings” of the moment.
Picasso, on the other
hand, used distorted
images and strange
colors to create mood.
Saturn is the second largest planet in
the solar system, much larger than
Earth. It is mostly made of hydrogen. It
rotates more quickly too. A day on
Saturn is only about 10 Earth hours
long. But it takes about 30 of our years
to make one full trip around the sun.
A problem is presented and followed by
the steps to bring about a solution.
• The beach was
• Jeff organized a
• 30 people came
to pick up trash
and soon the
Problem/Solution Key Words
Problem Steps Solution
problem is solved
Native American tribes who
lived on the central plains
had to move from place to
place to follow the migrating
herds. Since they could not
build permanent homes, they
invented the teepee which
allowed them to move their
homes from place to place.
Ted and Sam both wanted to drive
the car. They started yelling at
each other. Their mom came and
told them to stop fighting. She told
Ted he could drive the car today,
and Sam would have
a turn tomorrow.
This story is organized by—
comparing Alfred’s life to
those of German families
describing a series of events
in Nobel’s life
discussing what the
scientist’s role was in
organizing the prize
providing examples of how
people lived in 1925
Which of the following best
describes the organization of
Presenting in order the steps
of cave and sinkhole
Comparing the formation of a
cave to the formation of a
Describing features of caves
Presenting basic information
first about caves and then
What are the 5 organizational
Why do author’s use different
types of organization?
What clues will help you
determine the pattern?
Comprehension Strategies by Keene, Ellin Oliver, 2002.
When Kids Can’t Read by Kylene Beers, 1998
Phillip Martin Clip Art
A Reading and Writing Out Loud Presentation
Barbara Yardley, M.Ed.
For additional activities, worksheets and a complete Common Core
teaching unit on Text Structure