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English Language Arts

Text Types, Structures and Features

Information-Based Text Types

The vast majority of reading and writing done outside of school is information-based. These are the texts that we read in order to research, learn and gain information on a range of events, issues and topics.

The complexity of an information-based text is achieved through the way its structures and features interact to create meaning(s)/message(s). For this reason, the progression that students demonstrate in working with knowledge about how information-based texts are constructed is directly related to the increasing sophistication of concepts, themes and social knowledge in the texts that they interpret, write and produce.

In the Elementary English Language Arts program, information-based texts fall into the following categories:

  • Planning texts are used to plan and organize our thoughts, ideas and actions, and to help us monitor our own learning
  • Explanatory texts explain natural or social phenomena or how something works. They answer the questions “why” or “how.”
  • Descriptive reports describe the way things are or were, usually focusing on events, information or both.
  • Persuasive texts try to move people to act or behave in a certain way, including selling or promoting a product.

Self-Expressive Text Types
Narrative and Literary Text Types

Student constructs knowledge with teacher guidance.

Student applies knowledge by the end of the school year.

 

Student reinvests knowledge.

Elementary
Cycle
One
Cycle
Two
Cycle
Three
  1. Planning Texts
1 2 3 4 5 6
  1. Required Text Types
    1. Speaking and Listening
      1. Understands the use of talk to compose a first draft of thoughts, ideas, and information
       
      1. Understands the use of talk to clarify the steps in a procedure or an organizational plan (e.g. brainstorming, pulling ideas together, asking pertinent questions)
     
    1. Writing and Media Production
      The student writes/produces different planning texts, specifically:
      1. Learning/thinking logs and lists that record thoughts, ideas and information
   
      1. Webbing and mapping texts, such as story mapping, to represent the relationship(s) between ideas or separate pieces of information
 
      1. Graphic organizers, outlines, timelines, graphs and diagrams to organize ideas and information coherently
   
  1. Structures and Features
    The student understands the purpose of the following structures and features and uses this knowledge to construct meaning/message when writing and producing texts.
    1. Written and Media Texts
      1. Events/information in sequence (e.g. timelines, graphs)
     
      1. Chronology or ordering of actions to undertake, (e.g. in notes or lists)
     
      1. Visuals such as graphic organizers used to articulate relationship among actions or ideas, (e.g. webbing)
   
      1. Hierarchy of ideas/ information, (e.g. in an rough outline, diagram)
   
      1. Visuals/images for organizing or planning a text (e.g. arrows in a concept map to indicate linked ideas)
   
  1. Explanatory Texts
1 2 3 4 5 6
  1. Required Text Types
    1. Speaking
      1. Directions and instructions (e.g. for a game)
       
      1. Explanation of a procedure or how something works
   
      1. Explanation of reasons for a decision
   
    1. Reading, Listening, Writing and Media Production
      1. Texts that explain a process/procedure (e.g. rules, recipes, directions)
     
      1. Illustrated and multimedia how-to books
   
      1. Texts that explain how or why something happens using a narrative structure (e.g. picture books such as The Magic School Bus, magazine articles)
   
      1. Posters that explain
     
      1. Web sites (Reading and Viewing only)
   
  1. Structures and Features
    The student understands the purpose of the following structures and features and uses this knowledge when speaking, reading, writing and producing texts.
    1. Spoken, Written and Media texts
      1. A title and a series of logical steps, in images and/or print, explaining how or why something occurs
     
      1. Headings, captions or labels to focus readers’ attention on what is most important
     
      1. Sequential/chronological organization of information to explain how and/or why something is done in the way it is
     
      1. Images (photo or drawing) and text features that provide additional information or contribute to the organization of information
     
      1. Navigational aids such as table of contents or alphabetical listing in longer texts, index, headings and page numbers
 
      1. Bibliography (if needed)
   
  1. Descriptive Reports
1 2 3 4 5 6
  1. Required Text Types
    1. Speaking
      The student produces:
      1. spoken reports based on family, community or school experiences (e.g. field trips, favourite toys, special holidays)
       
      1. spoken reports that describe the way things are or were (e.g. an observed event such as a solar eclipse, the stages of an experiment and what was observed, a report on a topic or issue of personal interest, such as the extinction of dinosaurs)
     
    1. Reading, Viewing and Listening (spoken, written and media texts)
      1. Nonfiction that describes and reports details about a topic (e.g. simple science trade books written for children)
       
      1. Articles in children’s magazines that report (e.g. on a topic, event)
     
      1. Letters that describe or report (e.g. a character’s letter that describes an experience or event)
     
      1. Local and national newspaper articles that are appropriate and accessible to children
     
      1. Local and national radio and television news reports that are appropriate and accessible to children
   
      1. Web pages, blogs and Internet sites appropriate and accessible to children (e.g., short video clips)
   
    1. Writing and Media Production
      1. Reports on personal experiences in family, classroom, or school (e.g. an anecdotal report)
       
      1. Reports on topics/subjects of personal interest (e.g. short nonfiction texts, magazine articles)
       
      1. Reports about their classroom or local community (e.g. in a class or school newspaper, on a class Web site or in a class blog)
     
  1. Structures and Features
    The student understands the purpose of the following structures and features and uses this knowledge when reading, writing and producing descriptive reports.
    1. Written texts
      1. Title to indicate contents
       
      1. General statement about the topic in opening paragraph (e.g. Dogs are mammals)
     
      1. Logical sequencing of details, facts, opinions based on events and/or information
     
      1. Subheadings and paragraphs to group and/or categorize information
 
      1. Use of comparison and contrast
 
      1. Visuals and/or graphic organizers to extend content of written text (e.g. pictures, labels, diagrams)
   
      1. Summary of events, observations, impressions to highlight what is most important
   
      1. Specific features of different formats depending on topics and purposes (i.e. a science report has different features than a news article describing the school community)
   
    1. Media Texts
      1. Headline or title to indicate contents
       
      1. Images/ visuals to contribute to description of events, details, or impressions (e.g. in a nonfiction article on plant-eating dinosaurs, a brochure describing the school community, a blog about puppy mills)
     
      1. Images/ visuals to classify and sequence details, recounts, events and information (e.g. in a photo essay, in a local news story, on a website)
     
  1. Persuasive Texts
1 2 3 4 5 6
  1. Required Text Types
    1. Speaking
      The student produces spoken persuasive texts, specifically:
      1. Texts that seek to persuade peers to change their habits and/or actions and/or behaviours (e.g. appeals concerning the impact of plastic bottles on the environment)
     
    1. Reading and Listening (written and media texts)
      The student reads/views persuasive texts that encourage people to purchase something, partake in a special activity or adopt a particular viewpoint, specifically:
      1. Popular signs and symbols, such as logos of popular food chains, clothing
       
      1. Packaging for popular products aimed at children (e.g. cereal boxes, toys, clothing)
       
      1. Promotional posters or flyers
     
      1. TV commercials aimed at children
     
      1. Magazine and newspaper advertisements (i.e. in children’s magazines)
     
      1. TV and/or movie reviews aimed at children (e.g. a movie trailer for a popular film or a TV show)
     
      1. Public Service Ads and posters created for children
     
      1. Opinion pieces, print or online, written for children on topics/issues of interest (e.g. Should sports celebrities be considered heroes?)
       
    1. Writing and Media Production
      The student writes/produces persuasive texts that promote a product, event or service aimed at children, specifically:
      1. Promotional posters or flyers (e.g. for a special event at school or to advertise a favorite game)
   
      1. Packaging (e.g. for a new toy, cereal box, video game)
   
      1. Ads (e.g. for a children’s magazine, for a commercial)
     
      1. TV and/or movie reviews for peers or younger children
   
  1. Structures and Features
    The student understands the purpose of the following structures and features and uses this knowledge to construct meaning/message when reading, viewing, writing and producing texts.
    1. Written and Media Texts
      1. Use of persuasive images, words or phrases to promote a product and/or some aspect of consumerism (e.g. on product packaging, in magazine ads, on a Web site for a popular toy such as Barbie, in a popular logo)
 
      1. Strategic placement of images (photo or drawing) to attract the attention of reader/viewer (e.g. as in a poster, in a magazine ad)
     
      1. Music/sound to promote a product and/or appeal to the viewer to take action (e.g. in a TV commercial) (Viewing only)
       

Self-Expressive Text Types
Narrative and Literary Text Types

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