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Text Structures From Picture Books [Grades 2-8]

Text Structures From Picture Books [Grades 2-8]
Lessons to Ease Students Into Text Analysis, Reading Response, and Writing With Craft

September 2023 | 352 pages | Corwin

Teach students the architecture beneath a successful story—and boost their reading comprehension and writing skills for a lifetime 

Writing instruction can sometimes seem scattershot, as teachers try to cover a galaxy of craft techniques, ideas, intentions, and genres. The possibilities are endless—and that’s the problem. In Text Structures from Picture Books, elementary and middle grade teachers tap into a well-ordered universe of inspiring and illustrative stories to help students frame their thinking and focus choices.

Using the bite-size format of picture books as a starting point, the authors share 50 low-prep, quick-access lessons to help you teach students seven concrete ways to respond to text in any genre. Through these lessons, students will be able to:

  • Generate their own writing, using a text structure harvested from the work of professional authors
  • Retell a story, using the text structure from the story
  • Generate reading responses, using structures that support clarity
  • Analyze a story to construct thematic statements, capturing the author’s message and bigger themes
  • Write about a theme or big idea demonstrating empathic and evidence-based interpretation
  • Answer open-ended questions by selecting a technique that reflects the text and their engagement
  • Experiment with author’s craft in their own writing

Based on master writing teacher Gretchen Bernabei’s instructional model, the lessons offer a lively, high-impact mix of reading aloud, discussion, modeling, student writing, and peer share. Plus, readers have access to a complete companion website full of text structure reproducibles, reading response prompts, additional lessons and extensions, students samples, and links to demo videos.

State tests are now assessing reading and writing together. And that’s a good thing—but we’ve got some catching up to do. Written for students beginning in second grade, Text Structures from Picture Books will help your students swiftly and surely become text-savvy readers and writers.

Foreword by Gretchen Bernabei
How to Use This Book
Foundational Lessons
What is a Kernel Essay?

Introducing Your Students to Truisms

Introducing Your Students to Reading Response


Verdict: A great addition to professional collections of teachers looking to strengthen students’ writing skills in bite-size, practical ways.

School Library Journal

Stephen Briseño

Stephen Briseño is a middle school English teacher, writing consultant, and award-winning picture book author. His debut picture book, The Notebook Keeper: A Story of Kindness from the Border, won a Pura Belpré Honor and a 2023 Notable Children’s Book designation from the American Library Association. He writes, reads, and drinks a ton of coffee with his wife, Kayla, and daughter, Zinnia, in San Antonio, Texas.  Follow him on Twitter at @stephen_briseno or visit him on the web at More About Author

Kayla Briseño

Kayla Briseño has taught English all over the world and nearly every age, from elementary through adults. She has conducted professional development workshops with Gretchen Bernabei for over a decade, sharing and generating impactful writing instruction, while being a long time contributor to Trail of Breadcrumbs publications. Text Structures from Picture Books is her debut book. She and her husband, Stephen, are both self-declared book nerds, coffee aficionados, and national park fanatics. When she’s not teaching or helping teachers, you can find her creating art with her daughter, Zinnia, reading a good book, or enjoying a stroll... More About Author

Gretchen Bernabei

A popular workshop presenter and winner of NCTE’s James Moffett Award in 2010, Gretchen Bernabei has been teaching kids to write in middle school and high school classrooms for more than thirty years. In addition to four other professional books and numerous articles for NCTE journals, she is the author of National Geographic School Publications’ The Good Writer’s Kit, as well as Lightning in a Bottle, a CD of visual writing prompts. More About Author

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ISBN: 9781071920862