Friday, February 27, 2009



Descriptive and Procedural Information

Information often comes in the form of the description of places or people, or a sequence of events, or procedures as in directions for assembling machinery or achieving a particular goal. Often an article or a book will use more than one of these organizing techniques, so a reader will shift strategies as the need arises. Read the two short selections from children's books and determine whether the author is writing a description or a procedure.

Machines Make Fun Rides

People like to go on rides.

Rides are machines.

Rides do different things,

but they are all fun.

The Merry-Go-Round

A merry-go-round is a machine.

It has horses people can ride on.

The horses are on poles.

The poles make the horses go

up and down.

The horses are on a platform.

The platform turns around.

The merry-go-round goes around

and around.

Kids are Consumers

How to Complain About a Product

You've done your research, made your choice, and bought a product. You take it home and the product doesn't work! What should you do? Here are some steps that you can take to complain to the store where you bought it or to the company that made it. You can follow these steps in person, by telephone, in writing or by e-mail.

Step 1: Find Out to Whom You Need to Talk

Step 2: Plan What You Will Say

Find the phone number for the company. The number is often printed on the package or label. You can also find it on the Internet or by dialing Information. Contact the company and tell them you have a complaint. Ask politely whom you should talk to.

Plan what you want to say. You may find it helpful to write down all the information before making the complaint call. Make your call. First, state who you are. Tell what you bought and when and where you bought it. Next, explain clearly what the problem is.

Finally, state what you think the solution should be. Write down the name of the person to whom you spoke and what he or she said. Keep all the information in a folder.

Remember to be polite. Don't lose y
our cool and start an argument.

Descriptions and Perspective Taking

Suppose you were standing on a cliff overlooking a mighty river that bends beneath you. To your right the river flows towards you from the northeast. You can see the forests and the farmland that the river has divided as it surges from the northeast.

To your left you see the river bounce off the high ground on which you stand and wrap around the cliff as it turns almost directly south. As the river widens downstream, a sizeable city rises on the opposite bank, the western side of the river.

Being adventuresome, you climb down the side of the cliff to get a closer look at the river from water level. Soon you are standing on an outcropping directly below where you stood on the cliff top. Water is splashing close to your feet as it pounds against the cliff. To your right you can see the river flowing towards you and your view is curtailed about a half mile upstream where the river takes a slight curve. All you see at that curve is forestland. No farmland.

To your left all you see is rumbling water and the spray that comes from the river splashing into
the cliff. The city that you saw up top is nowhere in sight; only the rolling water.

Perspective! Descriptions present images from a certain perspective. The reader, then, needs to adopt a perspective in order to see the described scene as vividly as possible. From the cliff, you had a grand view to your right and a grand view to your left. At the water's level, you had very little that you could see to your left. Your perspective had changed significantly.

Procedural Texts and Visualization

The classic example of reading procedural articles is the directions for putting together toys, especially the night before the toy must be ready for a present. But there are many kinds of written procedures, everything from applying for a driver's license to learning how to run machinery or a computer, for example.

In our bureaucratic world, reading about procedures to qualify for a job, a grant, a social service, or the filing of income taxes is part of everyone's existence. So how do we read and know what to do?

Visualization is a technique that we use in our daily life to help us understand and process information. It is also a technique that can be used to enhance our memory. There are many visualization techniques that we use frequently. As a teacher, you may encourage your students to:

  • Make mental pictures of each step as they listen
  • Draw illustrations on a piece of paper
  • See vividly the action taking shape as you read them
  • Make use of graphic organizers, such as the KWL Chart


In my point of view, this page really very helpful for the learners. It contains lots of important information such as:

· How to teach the reading of descriptions, sequences, and procedures

· How readers adjust to achieve their purposes

· How to establish perspectives for descriptions

· How to visualize step-by-step procedures


What Is Fiction?

Everyone knows about fiction. They have been reading it from their first storybook. They know that it is a fabrication and that t
hey can usually identify with the characters in the story because they can see themselves trying to solve the problem of the story. In its simplest form, then, fiction may be defined as characters trying to resolve an issue across time to some conclusion. And the pattern of a story is much like real-life events and problems that people see daily; easy to follow; easy to believe.

What Is Non-Fiction?

Non-fiction, on the other hand, does not lend itself to a simple definition. In a non-fiction piece, the reader searches for information or tries to remember information; or the reader wants to learn the opinion of someone else. Both the writer and the reader of non-fiction concern themselves primarily with information and opinion.

Samples of Fiction and Non-Fiction

Take a look at the following texts for young children. Ask yourself: "How would I think in order to comprehend each of these texts?"

Fiction: The Rabbit and the Lion

Non-fiction: Big Red Tomatoes

Considerations and Strategies for Reading Fiction and Non-Fiction

The fiction text follows a well-known pattern of thought. Every reader knows how to follow the characters through some events as they try to figure out the main issue. If readers were asked to give a summary of the story, they could give it quickly because they have a well-rehearsed mental framework to do so.

The Three Little Pigs story can serve to illustrate the familiar framework of fiction.


Answer these questions and you will have summarized the story:

1. Who are the main characters?

2. What were the main characters trying to do?

3. How did they try to accomplish their ends?

4. How did it end or how did the characters resolve the major issue?


This reading for information articles helps the readers to

· Learn the difference between reading for entertainment (fiction) and reading for information (non-fiction)

· Examine sample lessons and learning strategies for teaching fiction and non-fiction

Furthermore, almost any child could answer those four questions about The Three Little Pigs
or about any other story appropriate for their age and experience. They approach fiction with a well-formulated interactive strategy for fiction, which is:

Identify the characters and what they are trying to do.
Then see what happens.

KWL: A Strategy Used "Before," "During," and "After" Reading A Non-Fiction Text

China: An Example Using KWL Strategy

KWL is an instructional strategy used before, during, and after reading. It consists of three components: K-What I know, W-What I want to know, and L-What I learned. This instructional strategy uses writing and reading to activate students' prior knowledge (K), help them generate questions on a specific topic or concept (W), and guide them in finding resources to answer their own questions (L).

K in KWL: What I know. Students can work in small groups or individually to generate as many ideas as possible concerning what they know about "China." Students jot down their thoughts in the "K" column of the KWL Chart. Upon finishing, students share their ideas with the whole class or in small groups.

W in KWL: What I want to know. Again, students work in small groups or individually to generate their own research questions. For example:

  • How many people live in China?
  • How big is China?
  • What do Chinese people like to eat?
  • What is the biggest city in China?

The role of the teacher is to set up a classroom library with materials, such as films, posters, books, and audiotapes so that students can begin their research. The students should also begin to collect materials such as news clips, book lists, and printouts of articles that may help them answer their questions. Each day, students may add their questions in the "W" column of the KWL Chart.

L in KWL: What I learned. As students read each day, they should take time out to record what they have learned in the "L" column of the KWL Chart or to add new questions in the "W" Column of the KWL Chart. Then they can share what they have learned with the whole class or in small groups.


This sample article shows the general strategy of asking questions Before, During, and After reading a selection. Alternatively, KWL can be used by individuals as a monitoring strategy before, during, and after reading a place of non-fiction as well as fiction.


Lesson Plans

1. Problems and Solutions

When a Storm Comes indicates that a farmer can identify solutions that will help solve the problem of erosion. A number of solutions are listed that will lead to the conclusion: "Farmers can stop erosion."

In this article, the problem is stated up front. If you used this article or one similar to it, you could demonstrate the problems and solutions organization by starting with the question: "What solutions can the farmer use to stop erosion?" Then draw a two-column chart on the board. You may also print out a blank Problems and Solutions chart for your own use.




2. Cause and Effect

A similar approach can be used to focus on the article, How Does My Bike Work? To start young children thinking about this type of article, start with the result or the effect--"Your bike moves forward." "What causes your bike to go forward?" Then list on the board the human effort and the mechanical devices that bring about the effect of a bike moving forward. You may also print out a blank Cause and Effect chart for your own use.



The bike moves forward

3. Compare and Contrast

After you are familiar with the graphic organizers for "Problems and Solutions" and "Cause and Effect" types of texts, you may want to try the graphic organizer for "Compare and Contrast" text structure below. The graphic organizer below can be used to sort and organize information for Sea and Land Animals. You may also print out a blank Compare and Contrast chart for your own use.

Name 1: Sea Animals

Name 2: Land Animals


Attribute 1: Animals

Attribute 2: Sharp teeth to bite into food

Attribute 3:

Attribute 4:

Attribute 5:

Differences with Regard to

Live in the sea

Attribute 1: habitat

Live on the land

Attribute 2:

Attribute 3:

Attribute 4:

Attribute 5:

How is this chart different from and similar to those for other two-step articles we have discussed? How do graphic organizers like these help you to better manage and make sense of information?

4. Classifications and Summaries

In Some Things Float, the author divided daily objects into two categories: things that float and things that sink. Use the two-step pattern chart below to help you classify objects into appropriate categories and summarize information of the experiment conducted in the book. You may also print out a blank Classification and Summarization chart for your own use.


Things that float

Things that sink



Summary Statement

Observation Techniques

Informal Observations by Teachers

Formal assessments, usually conducted through standardized tests, give general assessments that may be used for comparisons. For example, teachers can learn which students are performing at the mean, below it, or above it.

In order to help individual students on specific tasks or to make decisions about a series of activities for a particular group of students, teachers collect information through their observations. Sometimes it is helpful for them to collect those observations systematically and to keep notes about individuals and small groups.

The need for systematic note taking is especially valuable when the teacher wants to know the processes that students use in learning or in solving problems. For example, what strategies do students employ in finding and remembering information for a quiz? When assigned to read a chapter in a book, do they follow a strategic plan? Do they have control over the reading so they approach the chapter systematically? Or, do they just dive in and hope for the best? If they read it three or four times, maybe they will retain what they need for the quiz.

Though particularly valuable for the observation of strategic learning, informal observation can be used as well on watching skill development or getting a picture of factual knowledge in a small group. The key to effective informal observation is to define what you are looking for. If you think it is valuable for students to ask themselves questions from the beginning to the end of an article, what will you be observing in student performance? For example:

  • Can they state a purpose for reading?
  • Have they formulated specific questions to answer?
  • Do they monitor their own comprehension?

Introspection and Conferencing

Introspection has the double value of calling student attention to desirable strategic activity while gaining a view from inside the learner. Introspection ranges from the wide-open technique of responding with very little guidance, to marking a rating scale on a series of specific behaviors. Some teachers like to get students to write whatever is going through their minds at the end of each paragraph or before each new subhead. Some students may respond in great detail with insightful observations about their mental processes, others may see it as a cumbersome and intrusive task.

At the other end of the spectrum for introspection is a list of behaviors on which the students rate their behavior as low or highly competent. See Figure 1 for an example of this kind of scale.

With data collected from the students' self-observations, the teacher can then hold a conference to work with them in improving the observed behaviors. "Where do you want to improve? How can I help you?"

One of the obvious advantages of introspection is that the student becomes aware of ways that he or she can direct their own learning. They will become more self-directed.

Walk-About Observations

As teachers circulate among students, they are always observing the work of their students. To make that walk-about activity more productive, teachers can use a checklist to remind them of the observations that they make about student activity. That checklist may look for specific behaviors, such as, vocabulary knowledge, or it may look for strategic thinking. If for strategic thinking, the teacher may determine some of the following:

____ Has a general plan for approaching the text

____ Activates prior knowledge as a way of focusing the reading

____ Can give specific answers to questions

____ At intermediate points can summarize learning

____ Has an end-point review or summarizing routine

These observation checklists will vary to match the instructional techniques that the teacher has been emphasizing.

Problem Solving and Specific Assignments

If the teacher wants students to use the text to solve a problem or asks them to find specific information, do they know how to proceed?

Some problems require careful reading of the text to solve the problem. For example: "What guidelines do you find in the text for calculating the coordinates of a particular place on the globe?" Can they locate the text area where that information occurs? And can they read and retain the guidelines that help them find places on the globe?

Some reading assignments call for specific information: "What is the political status of Slovenia?" Do the students have the skills to locate and extract the answer to that question?

These informal types of observations are used for instructional planning. And that approach suggests a teaching style quite different from merely assigning chapters to read and then holding a question-and-answer session to see who read the chapter. Informal observation techniques require teachers to attend to the manner in which their students learn. They watch them and discuss learning with them.

Informal techniques demand a respect of students so that they will talk about what they are doing and how they are learning. Some teachers refer to this approach as a think along technique. "As you read this passage, or as you solve this problem, talk aloud about what you are doing. Let me think along with you."


This article help the readers to identify the compare and contrast, discuss cause and effect, describe problems and find solutions, classify data and summarize, and so on. When readers are alert to these patterns, they can more readily understand and retain information. These strategies help students recognize and use the 4 two-step text structures.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Hi everyone... it's me Kumutha Raman @ Ku. This blog is my one of the assignment for Language and ICT subject. I'm doing BA ELS. This is my first year, second semester. I'm from Seremban, Negeri Sembilan. I wish to get a lots of information to discuss in this blog. I would like to share my ideas and information to all the blog readers. Thanks a lot..