Skip to Content

Close Reading: Informational Text Structures

This free focus on close reading resource helps you teach students about text structures found in informational text.

This free focus on close reading resource helps you teach students about text structures found in informational text.

This is another free resource for teachers from The Curriculum Corner.

This informational text structures collection is a part of our series on Close Reading.  If you are looking for additional free resources, please visit our Complete Close Reading Collection.

What is text structure?

Text structure is the way an author has chosen to organize the information being shared.

In informational text, authors carefully choose a text structure to help them inform the reader.

One informational text book might contain multiple text structures or just one.

Be sure to have an assortment of books in your classroom so students can see real world examples of each structure.

What are the informational text structures?

The five text structures for informational text are:

  • problem/solution
  • cause & effect
  • compare/contrast
  • description/list
  • time order/ sequence

Understanding the 5 text structures

Before you help your students dig into text structures, be sure that you have a good understanding of each.

time order or sequence

  • the text outlines a list of steps in a procedure or events
  • clue words: before, followed by, finally, first, second, third, next, last, eventually


  • the text gives information about a problem and then explains one of more solutions.
  • clue words: concern, solve, prevent, so that, the answer, one reason is, challenge, help

cause & effect 

  • the text tells about an event (cause) and the effects that follow the event
  • clue words: this led to, as a result, so that, due to, so, for this reason, in order to

compare / contrast 

  • the text talks about similarities and differences between two subjects
  • clue words: like, unlike, also, similar, different, too, however, same as, although, as well as

description / list 

  • the text gives details or characteristics of something
  • clue words: one example, also, another, to begin with, on top of, in addition

Resources for your close reading lessons

Our set of free resources for teachers include a variety of colorful anchor charts and graphic organizers. Add these to your lesson plans to make planning a little faster.

  • Anchor Chart Includes a brief description of each text structure. You will find one that lists each structure along with a different version that includes clue words and visuals.
text structures
  • Bookmarks These are a smaller version of the anchor chart.  These can be helpful for students to use as they are learning to differentiate between each text structure.
  • Text Structure Organizer  This organizer contains two pages.  Students find an informational text written using the given text structure.  They record the title in the gray box and then share their thinking in the right column.  There is additional space at the bottom for other observations.
  • Graphic Organizers A collection of 17 graphic organizers will help you focus on text structures during your close reading lessons. Both full and half page selections are available. Organizers for specific text structures along with organizers for students to identify the text structure are provided.

You can download the complete collection of free resources focused on informational text structures here

Text Structures

Below we are sharing a few of our favorite books to add to your book baskets. We like to make sure out basket for this focus includes a few books that model each text structure. Contains affiliate links.

As with all of our resources, The Curriculum Corner creates these for free classroom use. Our products may not be sold. You may print and copy for your personal classroom use. These are also great for home school families!

You may not modify and resell in any form. Please let us know if you have any questions.

You may not modify and resell in any form. Please let us know if you have any questions.

Reading Informational Text Unit of Study - The Curriculum Corner 123

Wednesday 29th of May 2019

[…] Additional resources for text structures can be found here:  Close Reading Focus on Text Structures […]

Halloween Reading Comprehension. Using informational texts and fiction

Friday 20th of October 2017

[…] I suggest explicitly teaching text structure.  The 3 Halloween informational texts are all descriptive/list structures.   If you are looking for ways to teach, check out this free resource.  […]

Trish Carino

Friday 15th of September 2017

Hi there, This looks really great, but the links are not working. Help!

Jill & Cathy

Friday 22nd of September 2017

Hi, Trish! This post has all of the resources in one download. Click on the bold heading towards the bottom of the post. That will give you all of the resources in one download.

Eun jung Park

Friday 27th of May 2016

Thank you so much for the excellent resources!!

Sherrie Burt

Tuesday 22nd of March 2016

Thank you for this resource. This will be very helpful for my next reading unit.