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Teaching Text Structure in Upper Elementary while Learning About Video Games

Use these video game-inspired passages while you’re teaching text structure in upper elementary!

Do you ever have that moment when you’re walking through a home improvement store or the dollar store, and you see something and think…I can see so many different ways to use that.


It’s like you’ve found yourself in the middle of an episode of “Who’s Line is it Anyway?” and they’ve handed you a prop and started a timer, and you get to see how many different ways you can think of to use the item they gave you.

That is how I feel about these video game text structure passages.

I really love the relatability of the topics and the amazing facts that students can learn as a result of reading and studying these passages.

When I read through the passages in this resource and learn about topics like Nintendo and virtual reality and the video game industry, my mind starts reeling over the different ways I can use these passages in class both for teaching text structure in upper elementary classes and also for supporting other reading skills and themes in those same grades.

Today, I want to spend a little time going over 6 different ways these passages can be used while teaching text structure in upper elementary.

6 Ways to use the Video Game Themed Text Structure Passages

#1 | Use them to introduce text structure

When you first start teaching text structure in upper elementary, you can use these video game passages to read together as a class. As a full group, you can discuss them to determine text structure. I really like to support the introduction of text structure with these Text Structure Flipbooks as well. I feel like the two resources together make an awesome combo!

#2 | Make an anchor chart using the passage example

Using an anchor chart, note each type, definition, clue word,, and idea from the passages to support their answers. Students may be able to help with this as they use their Text Structure Flip Books to help guide what should go on the anchor chart.

Teaching Text Structure in Upper Elementary with Video Games Pin with images of the resource, video game controllers, and kids playing video games in circles spread around the image

#3 | Individual or small group practice

Have students read the passages with partners or in small groups. First, ask them to identify the type of text structure. Then, give them time to go back and highlight key ideas or words that help them make that decision.

#4 | Group work

Split students into groups and have each group of students focus on one passage. After they’ve had time to work through the text, ask them to present their passage, ideas, and supporting details for why it is a certain type of text structure.

#5 | Inspire further research

All of the passages focus on the topic of video games, so use that theme to do additional research on video games. For advanced learners, encourage them to write two additional passages on other video game-related topics while trying to write in two different text structures. Then, you can use these new passages in class as well.

#6 | Use with a larger project (like a ‘Video Game Week’)

Consider creating a themed week related to video games. During your ‘video game week’ students will learn about the history of video games, different jobs within the video game industry, and create a plot line for a video game of their own. A week-long ‘adventure’ into video games like this would give students a chance to explore the topic in lots of different ways, and these text structure passages would be the perfect warm-ups for each day that week. 

If you like the idea of doing a themed week within your classroom, you can also check out this post we wrote detailing the possibilities of a ‘Puzzle Week!’

Teaching Text Structure in Upper Elementary with Video Games Facebook Image with a picture of the resource in the background

Teaching text structure in upper elementary doesn’t have to be boring or dull. In fact using a high-interest topic like video games is a great way to keep students engaged while also digging deeper into the text and how it is set up.

If you want more ideas for teaching text structure in upper elementary, we also have a blog post that outlines our first 5 days of introducing text structure and another one that provides some helpful hacks for teaching text structure in upper elementary.

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