ReadWriteThink couldn't publish all of this great content without literacy experts to write and review for us. If you've got lessons plans, videos, activities, or other ideas you'd like to contribute, we'd love to hear from you.
Find the latest in professional publications, learn new techniques and strategies, and find out how you can connect with other literacy professionals.
Teacher Resources by Grade
|1st - 2nd||3rd - 4th|
|5th - 6th||7th - 8th|
|9th - 10th||11th - 12th|
Exploring How Section Headings Support Understanding of Expository Texts
|Grades||3 – 5|
|Lesson Plan Type||Standard Lesson|
|Estimated Time||Three 40-minute sessions|
Schoharie, New York
- Participate in a brainstorming discussion about the purposes for section headings
- Read a sample text and insert the missing section headings with the teacher's assistance
- Read a sample text and insert the missing section headings independently
- Be able to express to the teacher the purposes for section headings
|1.||Explain to students that today they will look at an interesting article and talk about a strategy they can use to better understand what they are reading.
|2.||Distribute the article or text that you have selected as sample text 1, and ask students what they notice when they look at the text. Students will probably notice various details, such as pictures, captions, title, and so on. After someone notices the section headings, tell the students that they are called section headings. Instruct students to circle or highlight all of the section headings in the sample text. Then, tell them that you are going to read the text aloud. While reading, you want them to think about why the writer included the section headings in the text. Read the entire text to the group with expression or invite students to participate in reading the text aloud.
|3.||Engage the class in a brainstorming activity to discuss why the writer put the section headings into the text. Make a list of the purposes for the section headings. If students do not generate the following ideas, lead them to realize that section headings also:
|1.||Review the list of purposes for section headings, and explain that today they will practice inserting section headings into a different article.
|2.||Distribute the article or text that you have selected as sample text 2. Remember that the section headings in this text have been replaced with blank lines.
|3.||On the board, write the section headings the original article or text contained. Tell students that they will act as detectives to figure out where these headings belong in the text. Students may work together in groups to read the text and determine where those section headings listed on the board best fit within the text. Together they should note the reasoning behind each of their selections.
|4.||Read the article aloud with students. Engage students in a class discussion about where each section heading belongs and how they arrived at their conclusions.
|1.||Review the list of purposes for section headings, and explain that today they will work independently to insert section headings into a different article.
|2.||Distribute the article or text that you have selected as sample text 3. Remember that the section headings in this text have been replaced with blank lines.
|3.||On the board, write the section headings the original article or text contained. Tell students that they will again act as detectives to figure out where these headings belong in the text. Students work independently to fill in the missing headings.
- In small groups, students survey their textbooks, other sample texts provided by the teacher, or resources from the library to examine the purposes of section headings. Groups will record their findings and report back to the class.
- Given a text or article that has had the section headings omitted, students read the text and provide their own appropriate headings. Later, they can compare their headings with the original writer's headings.
- Students write their own expository text using three to five section headings appropriately.
- Students create outlines using section headings in content-area textbooks. Under each heading, students take brief notes or summarize what they learned in each section.
- See Session 3 for Assessment
- Have students write or tell you what they learned about the purposes for section headings. In their writing, they should list as many purposes as they can. The teacher can evaluate a student's understanding of section headings by the number of purposes listed.
- Ask students to reflect on what they learned by answering questions, such as:
1. What did I contribute to this lesson?
2. How well did we use our time?
3. What plan did my group use to sort the headings?