One of the hardest things in fifth grade to teach is text structures. Students don’t always understand text structures and as the teacher, we need to help support them. One of my favorite ways to do this is to combine picture books and text structures to get a beautiful masterpiece.

One book that I absolutely love to use Penguins by Gail Gibbons. I use this book for many different text structures. When I teach a different structure, I will pull Penguins out and use that text to teach students another structure.

I am not one that normally spends hours creating lessons. I need to be precise and to the point. The students and I will compare the different types of penguins. It doesn’t have to be a HUGE moment but it is help for the students to see how in just a few sentences we are comparing.

Comparing & Contrasting

Compare & Contrast Text Structure
Picture Book and Text Structures: Compare and Contrast
Compare & Contrast where Penguins live.

The picture above shows you how I compare the locations of where penguins live. Often times, I will assign some students to do a quick research (less than 3 minutes) on the different places where they are found. Now we are connecting real world to text! Students love being able to do this because they take the learning in their own hands.

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Chronological Text Structure

Picture Book and Text Structures: Chronological Order

One of my absolute favorites parts of this book is when they tell you all about the order of a baby penguin. I usually list this under chronological order and that’s because it starts off telling you about laying the egg. Then they roll the egg on top of the dad’s feet. Since this is about 4 pages in the book, I use 2 boxes on my note page. I will continue the next page in a different box. This allows the students to keep track of how an egg is laid to it hatching and being taken care of. If you need more ideas for picture books and text structures, you can check out the blog post I wrote about sailing on the Titanic.

Problem & Solution Text Structure

The author, Gail Gibbons, does a great job of making you fall in love with penguins. By the end of it, you are given some really hard facts about these amazing penguins. An example of a problem in the book is that the penguins are being killed for their skin, or they are boiled for their oil. These are all current problems that penguins face. Luckily, Gail provides a solution for us and says that there are laws in place along with sanctuaries to protect these amazing penguins.

Writing a Summary

Last but not least, once you finish the book-write a summary!My summary is long, however, I only used text from the boxes to guide my thoughts. When I incorporate picture books and text structures, the students will identify the concept so much more. They can relate to the topic which makes teaching text structures so much easier!

Want to save some time? Download this page for FREE so you can use it immediately with your students.

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