Pattern Guides for Expository Texts

Upper elementary and above

  • Comprehension
  • Help students get a sense of how expository material is organized, thus aiding in their comprehension
  • Set purpose for reading
  • Study skills

Strategy steps:

Time lines (pattern guides for history-chronological order of events)

  1. Give the students a time line.
  2. Tell them that using the time line will help them see the sequence of events.
  3. Students read the chapter and fill in the events on the time line. Page numbers may be given for additional help.Time Line

Comparison charts (pattern guides for science-compare/contrast organization)

  1. Give the students a compare/contrast chart like the one below and ask them to fill it out as they read the chapter. This task can be done individually or with a partner.
    Comparison Chart
  2. After the students have read and completed the chart, the teacher leads a discussion using questions such as:
    1. Which state has the highest temperatures?
    2. Which state has the lowest temperatures?
    3. In which state would you expect to find desert areas? Why?
    4. Tell how the climates of these states are similar.
    5. Tell how they are different. Why?

Cause-and-Effect charts (pattern guides to identify consequences for events and to identify events that precipitated consequences)

As the students read a chapter, they look for the cause-and-effect relationships listed in the following chart. Their assignment is to complete the cause-and-effect statements by filling in the blanks with the appropriate information.

After reading the chapter, the teacher and students (the students in small groups or in pairs) discuss the responses on their charts.