SLA multiple genres strand teks talk image

Knowledge and Skills Statement

Multiple genres: listening, speaking, reading, writing, and thinking using multiple texts--genres. The student recognizes and analyzes genre-specific characteristics, structures, and purposes within and across increasingly complex traditional, contemporary, classical, and diverse texts.

Read a text aloud and provide several options of possible controlling ideas of the text. Elicit a conversation in which students analyze each option and determine why each is or is not the controlling idea. Require students to provide text support for their responses.

Further Explanation

For this assessment, students examine different ideas from the text to determine the controlling idea. Students understand that informational texts use a controlling idea to guide the focus of the writing.

Students are expected to know that informational texts have distinguishing characteristics, such as the use of a controlling idea or thesis to guide the focus of the writing, and that these texts can be structured in various ways to serve specific purposes. Students in this grade should be familiar enough with these characteristics and structures to be able to examine the intent and effect of their use in texts.
Informational texts are centered around a focused message that the author hopes to clearly communicate and explain to the audience. This controlling idea is often the point around which the rest of the writing is structured. Sometimes the message is implied but central to text overall or controls the direction of the information within the text. Since the goal in informational texts is to be as clear and straightforward as possible, the message will often be explicitly stated as a thesis statement and be included near the beginning of the text so the reader knows exactly through what lens the information will be presented.
the available body of supporting, valid, and relevant details, facts, or information that supports an inference, idea, or proposition
a text that presents information in order to explain, clarify, and/or educate
in a speech or piece of writing, the premise or main idea that is supported by details and commentary


1. Montelongo, J., Herter, R. J., Ansaldo, R., & Hatter, N. (2010). A lesson cycle for teaching expository reading and writing: this lesson cycle for expository texts uses direct instruction for teaching students to recognize cue words for text structures. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy, 53(8), 656+. Retrieved from

Summary: The authors present activities that teachers can use to provide middle school students with practice reading and writing expository texts. Students were taught to look at text structures to find the main idea, practicing deconstructing and reconstructing paragraphs using graphic organizers. Students learned to recognize signal words that correspond to structures such as cause-and-effect, compare and contrast, and problem and solution paragraphs. The results showed significant improvement in students' ability to locate the main idea.

2. Meyer, B. J., & Ray, M. N. (2011). Structure strategy interventions: increasing reading comprehension of expository text. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, 4(1), 127–152. Accessed online at

Summary: In this literature review, researchers examine empirical studies designed to teach the structure strategy to increase reading comprehension of expository texts. Strategy interventions employ modeling, practice, and feedback to teach students how to use text structure strategically and eventually automatically. The analysis suggests that direct instruction, modeling, scaffolding, elaborated feedback, and adaptation of instruction to student performance are keys in teaching students to strategically use knowledge about text structure.