Analyzing the author's craft and structure is a shift for students to do, and a shift for teachers to design tasks and questions that require analysis. This is the critical thinking we want students to engage in.
The big shift in this is the analysis. What does that look like at the elementary level?
How do you teach Craft and Structure?
There are many ways to teach craft and structure. Make sure students are analyzing the text, not just identifying the answers.
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DOK 3 Tasks and Activities for Craft and Structure
There's a plethora of activities that can be done with craft and structure, but here's just a few easy ideas:
- Share evidence of craft and structure: While students are reading text, they can record evidence of word choice (including unknown words, determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings -- to analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone); text features (and the impact it makes on the text); author's purpose or point of view. Use Today's Meet for a backchannel discussion, or Padlet to record evidence on sticky notes.
- Create comics to focus on the craft of word choice: When students create comics, every single word counts -- perfect to focus on Craft and Structure. After, have students analyze how it shapes the tone or message. Here's a few comic creator sites for the desktop: Toon Doo (click here for tutorial), Pixton, Chogger, Make Beliefs Comix, and Kerpoof (great for the younger kids). Comics for the iPad: Doodle Buddy (and there are talking bubbles in the stamps), Make Beliefs Comix, Story Me, Cartoon Studio, Comics Creator, or Strip Designer.
It's exciting for me to think about an author's labor of love to select the perfect words and phrases to communicate the message. It's even more rewarding to think of students appreciating that labor of love, to the point of their applying it in their own written or digital stories.
- If students should analyze craft and structure, then what types of questions and tasks do they need to engage in?
- How do you engage students in craft and structure?
- How else did this post connect with you?