Text Structures and Fables
Teaching Students to Write About What They Read, Grades 3-12
- Gretchen Bernabei - Consultant, Educator, Trail of Breadcrumbs
- Jayne Hover - San Antonio ISD
Literacy, K-12 | Writing (Middle/High School) | Writing (Primary/Elementary)
State tests are assessing reading and writing together—Are you ready?
I wish students would interact with a text on their own…I wish it wasn’t like pulling teeth to get them to elaborate their thinking. Wish no more, because bestselling author Gretchen Bernabei shows you how to guide students to be nimble at both short answer and extended responses. Her secret? “Teach students text structures, and they can pour their swirling ideas about the text into cogent writing.”
Using the accessible format of fables, Bernabei and Hover share lessons and an appendix full of fables so you can teach students five concrete ways to respond to text in any genre:
- Generate basic responses, using structures that support clarity
- Craft fiction inspired by the text to unveil literary knowledge and imaginative response
- Write essays about a theme or moral that display empathic and evidence-based interpretation
- Answer open-ended questions by selecting a technique that reflects the text and their engagement
- Use non-traditional formats like graphics and spoken dialogue to showcase their learning
The heat is on—beginning in third grade, state tests are now assessing reading and writing together. And that’s a good thing, but we’ve got some catching up to do. With Text Structures and Fables in hand, your students will swiftly and surely become text-savvy readers and writers.
Lesson 1: Responding to Reading
In this lesson from Text Structures and Fables, you'll learn how to help students get into a habit of generating a text-based, in-depth writing response. A helpful teaching note and student samples are included.
Part 1: Building Strong Readers and Writers
In this introduction from Text Structures and Fables, Gretchen Bernabei and Jayne Hover outline the many ways fables are the perfect teaching tools to encourage thorough, exploratory thinkers and writers, and preview practical teaching methods to introduce fables to your classroom.
“These lessons help! When students have a choice, it allows them to answer a question based on the information that they know, and not based on what they think a teacher wants to hear.”
“What is beautiful about using these text structures to respond to text is that students go back into the text to support their thinking. This is what we want. We sat them to support their responses with evidence from the text. This makes it easy.”
“The results of using text structures? Miraculous!”
“One of the things I appreciate most is that these lessons will prepare students for the tests without the typical test-prep materials.”