Attribute Charts

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40 Best-practices
Instructional Strategies
Background: Attributes are specific characteristics relevant to a topic.

Procedures: After reading an informational selection that contains descriptive details, students construct an attribute chart to organize the ideas. An attribute chart is an organizational framework that puts information in a grid. Write category headings in the top horizontal sections of the chart. Write topic headings down the left-hand sections. Ask students to reread the selection to collect facts for the chart. Fill in the facts in the appropriate sections in the chart.

Example: Draw a grid to help students organize details about animal adaptation. Read informational texts to collect facts that describe physical characteristics that help animals survive and thrive. Write the various body parts in the top horizontal sections of the grid. Write the names of various animal species down the left-hand sections of the grid. Have students fill in the grid spaces using facts from their research.

1. Challenge students to design a creative alternative to the grid of facts. Ask students about other ways the facts could be presented graphically. Encourage students to create graphic organizers unique to the topic.
2. Using the completed chart, ask students to write summaries that detail the facts.

Reading Strategies: Identify Main Ideas and Support Details, Summarize Information, Paraphrase Ideas, Synthesize Information, and Build Vocabulary