Kelsie Syverson, EngEd 275 DL, Chapter 9: Promoting Comprehension: Text Factors

Text Factors of Stories

There are three important factors that are most important:

  • Genres: Categories of literature; such as, stories, informational books (nonfiction) and poetry. There are sub categories to each category too.
  • Text Structures: To organize texts and emphasize the important ideas; such as, sequence, comparison, and cause and effect.
  • Text Features: To achieve a particular effect in an author’s writing. These include symbolism and tone is stories, and headings and indexes in nonfiction books.

Narrative Genres:


Elements of Story Structure:

  • Plot is the sequence of events involving characters in conflict situations; based on the goals of one or more characters and the process they go through to accomplish them.
  • Characters are the people or personified animals in the story.
  • Setting is generally thought of as where the story takes place but also includes weather, time period, and time.
  • Point of view depends on who is telling the story and their view.
    • First person viewpoint: Used to look through one characters view point and usually uses the pronoun “I”
    • Omniscient viewpoint: The author sees and knows all, telling the reader about each character and their thoughts.
    • Limited omniscient viewpoint: Told from the authors viewpoint but focuses on one character.
    • Objective viewpoint: Readers are eyewitnesses to the story and are confined to the immediate scene. They are not aware of what the characters are thinking, just what they are doing.
  • Theme is the underlying meaning of a story, usually deals with the characters’ emotions and values.

Narrative Devices:


Text Factors of Nonfiction Books

Some nonfiction genres include alphabet books, biographies, and reference books.

Expository Text Structures:


Text Factors of Poetry

Poetic Forms:

  • Acrostics – Students use a keyword to form an acrostic poem
  • Apology Poems – Students write poems apologizing for something they are secretly glad they did
  • Bilingual Poems – Students write a poem and incorporate words from a different language
  • Color Poems – Students start each line of their poem with a color
  • Concrete Poems – The words and lines on a poem are arranged to help convey the meaning of the poem.
  • Found Poems – Students arrange words from newspapers, magazines, etc. to create a poem
  • Haiku – A Japanese poem arranged by number of syllables (5, 7, 5) per line
  • List Poems – Students create a poem from a list they compose on a certain topic
  • Odes – Celebrate everyday objects, especially things that aren’t usually appreciated
  • Poems for Two Voices – Students write poems side-by-side that may contain the same words or not. One person reads the right column and one reads the left column at the same time to create a duet

Assessing Knowledge of Text Factors

Step 1: Planning – When planning the teacher needs to think of the text factors they want to teach and how they will monitor and assess students’ progress.

Step 2: Monitoring – Teachers monitor students by observing and conferencing with students during reading and writing activities.

Step 3: Evaluating – Teachers encourage students to apply their knowledge of genres, structural elements, and literacy devices. These things should be included in rubrics or checklist.

Step 4: Reflecting – Teachers ask students to reflect on how they are growing in their ability to use text factors to comprehend complex texts. Teachers also reflect on the effectiveness of their instruction.

All above information comes from:
Tompkins, G. E. (2017). Literacy for the 21st century: A balanced approach (7th ed.). Boston: Pearson

Classroom Application

I would expose students to a variety of genres and talk about the differences between them. We could make a comparison chart between the genre we are looking at and the previous one we looked at to see the differences but also maybe some similarities. Students should also talk about the elements of story structure to talk about the different stories. Of course the assessing of knowledge of text factors will be used too.

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