Now, read the following passage about an “escaped” cobra and identify the organizational pattern of the passage on your own.

A photograph of the head of an adult Egyptian Cobra.

Source: Naja_haje_CU, kibuyu, Flickr

(1) The case of the missing venomous snake in the Bronx Zoo has yielded much interest, many press inquiries and even a fake Twitter feed or two. (2) What it has not yielded is the snake, a 20-inch female Egyptian cobra born a few months ago.

(3) Zoo officials said they were confident that the snake was somewhere inside the reptile house, which was closed immediately after the snake went missing on Friday.

(4) “The holding areas of the reptile house are extremely complex environments with pumps, motors and other mechanical systems,” Mr. Breheny said. (5) “In this complex environment, she will likely remain in hiding and not move until she feels completely secure. (6) As her comfort level rises, she will begin to move around the building to seek food and water.”

take notes icon Use your notes to answer the following questions. When you are finished, check your understanding to see sample responses.

Check Your Understanding

Sample Responses:

Sentence 2 introduces a question (Where is the cobra?) that makes us think the passage is going to present a problem and a solution. Notice that the question is not directly stated, but we can infer this question from the way sentence 2 is stated. Sentence 3 adds ideas leading to a solution from opinions of zoo officials. Sentences 4, 5, and 6 add more solution-related information. Although there is no final solution, the passage still has a problem-and-solution organization.

Next, let’s summarize the passage using the organizational pattern as the “backbone.” You know that this passage is based on a problem-and-solution organization, so you’ll need to describe the problem and comment on the solution. In this case, you will comment on the progress toward a solution rather than the final solution.

take notes icon Use your notes to write a brief summary of this passage. When you are finished, check your understanding to see a sample response.

Check Your Understanding

Sample Responses:

Officials at the Bronx Zoo were not yet able to locate a 20-inch Egyptian cobra that escaped from its enclosure in the reptile house. The zoo officials stated that the cobra is probably hiding among the mechanical equipment in the holding area. After it feels completely safe, it will emerge from hiding looking for food and water.

Recognizing organizational patterns can help you identify what you are looking for when you read an informational text and can help you summarize what you read. Recognizing opinions in the midst of factual information will help you get the most accurate meaning from the text. Both skills will help you become a more active and more effective reader.

Do you want to know what happened to the Bronx Zoo cobra? Find out out how the story ended.