Informational Text Teacher Resources
Find Informational Text educational ideas and activities
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Close Reading of Excerpts from My Librarian Is a Camel: How Do People Access Books Around the World?
Acquaint your class with informational text through a close reading. First, examine a couple of pages together, looking at text features and content. The whole class focuses on marking down a brief summary of each paragraph before breaking off into small groups. Pupils then read independently and discuss their findings as a group. This detailed plan includes a graphic organizer for determining the main idea. Unfortunately, you will need to find the text on your own.
Fiction or Nonfiction? Considering the Common Core's Emphasis on Informational Text
Nothing aids in comprehension more than an explanation and understanding of why things are done. Address why the Common Core requires the reading percentages that it established and analyze how this affects your readers. Learners read informational pieces concerning the CCSS and discuss what they want to read, and should read in school. They also review the anchor standards for reading literature and informational texts, and decide on how it is best balanced. Adapt this resource for the specific issues in your class, and let the understanding begin.
Connecting Informational Text with Litearature: Building Background Knowledge About Mexican Immigration, California, and the Great Depression
Help your class transition as the setting in the novel Esperanza Rising, by Pam Munoz Ryan, moves from Mexico to California. Beginning with prior knowledge, and moving into jigsaw research groups, class members add to and create posters and lists of information about California, immigration, and the Great Depression. The teacher can help out with hint cards and by leading discussion; however, most of the information is discovered by class members as they work through informational texts and complete a gallery walk. Close with a writing activity that relates back to the novel. A strong, well-designed lesson.
Close Reading of Bullfrog at Magnolia Circle: Text-Dependent Questions, Main Ideas, and Key Vocabulary about the Bullfro
As your 3rd grade class finishes reading Bullfrog at Magnolia Circle, the eighth lesson of this unit helps readers from an understanding of the very specific information on the final page of the book. As with the entire unit, students answer questions by citing evidence from the text as they learn more facts about bullfrogs. Key vocabulary from the story is addressed in an activity where learners create glossaries including their own definitions and illustrations of the different words. A great lesson that furthers young scholars' ability to read and understand informational text.
Mid-Unit Assessment: Close Reading of Bullfrog at Magnolia Circle: Bullfrog Life Cycle
The sixth lesson in this Bullfrog at Magnolia Circle unit assesses your third graders' ability to read and understand informational text. The included assessment asks students to take notes about the main idea and supporting details of the text, while also focusing on information they can find in the illustrations. Using their notes, learners then answer one multiple choice and two free-response questions to demonstrate their understanding of the content and key vocabulary. Following the short test, pupils complete a self-assessment requiring them to reflect on how well they are meeting the specific learning goals of the unit. This lesson serves as an excellent resource for a teacher looking to determine their class's ability to read and comprehend this story about bullfrogs.
End of Unit 2 Assessment: Working with Two Texts - Reading, Listening, Summarizing, and Synthesizing
As a summative assessment for this unit on colonial trade, fourth graders listen to and read informational texts in order to demonstrate their ability to take notes, write summaries, and draw connections. Young scholars first listen as the teacher reads aloud a text about a New York merchant, taking categorized notes on the information they hear. Next, students independently read a piece of writing about shipbuilders, once again taking notes using the provided graphic organizer. Finally, they use their notes to answer multiple choice questions, write a summary about shipbuilders, and write a paragraph describing the interdependence of these two trades. The lesson provides a complete assessment of the listening, reading, and writing skills developed by pupils during the course of this research-based unit.
Building Background Knowledge: Colonial Craftspeople
In the first instructional activity of this unit on colonial trade, fourth graders gain background knowledge of different jobs performed by early colonists. The class begins with a slide show presentation that includes a variety of great photographs depicting different trades in colonial America, during which learners work in small groups to take notes and make inferences about each occupation. Following the slide show, young historians practice their ability to identify the main idea and supporting details of informational text, as the teacher reads aloud a short document about craftspeople in colonial America. An excellent introductory instructional activity, as young scholars will continue in this unit to become experts on a specific trade in order to better understand life in colonial America. Note that the slide show presentation does require access to the Internet and the ability to project from a computer onto a larger screen.
New! Reading an Informational Text: "It All Started with Sputnik"
Sputnik was one of the greatest scientific advancements of the 1950s, and this reading activity does it justice. Pupils start off with pre-reading questions and a video. They then read an excerpt from an article, which is accompanied by vocabulary, short-answer questions, and other close reading tasks. Small groups work on the questions together and all pupils must decide on the author's purpose. Also included is a set of writing assignment suggestions, which could use more detail.
Main Ideas in Informational Text: Analyzing a Firsthand Human Rights Account
Although this is part of a series, activity nine has your class take a break from their close study of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) text to read the firsthand account “Teaching Nepalis to Read, Plant, and Vote” by Lesley Reed. Though this text is simpler than the UDHR, your young readers will continue to use their close reading strategies as they read. Quickly review close reading strategies such as chunking, questioning, and annotating; modeling it with paragraph one. Next, allow your class to work their way through the rest of the article independently. As with all lessons in this unit, Lesson 9 contains some excellent prompts to foster discussion and to focus your pupils' thinking.
Main Ideas in Informational Text: Analyzing a Firsthand Human Rights Account for Connections to Specific Articles of the UDHR
Lesson 10 in a series of human rights lessons focuses on the skills of finding evidence and summarizing. Your young readers work to compare the two texts they have read in this unit: the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) and “Teaching Nepalis to Read, Plant, and Vote”. Groups start by nicknaming articles from the UDHR with names like "right to marry" or "right to vote". After reviewing and summarizing the UDHR articles with nicknames, groups will work to match these various rights with instances in “Teaching Nepalis to Read, Plant, and Vote”. To wrap-up the lesson plan, individuals will write a short opinion piece on rights that were upheld or violated using the firsthand account as evidence. Note: See the additional materials to find an index for all of these lessons.
Researching and Note-Taking: Becoming an Expert on a Colonial Trade
Fourth graders work in small groups to become experts on different colonial trades in the eighth lesson of this unit. Working toward the long-term goal of writing a piece of historical fiction, young scholars read informational texts and work collaboratively to take notes on terms related to their specific trade. Learners practice reading and rereading text, first to get a gist of the content, and second to focus on key vocabulary. Make sure dictionaries are available to support students in making sense of the different terms they encounter in their reading. This is a great lesson that supports young researchers as they work with their peers to become experts on a colonial trade.
Reading Maps: Locating the Countries We Have Been Reading About
Show your class how to read a map and decipher all of the markings and features. Start out by connecting maps to their homework from the night before and their current reading, in this case That Book Woman, and a related informational text. Small groups or pairs can then complete the map scavenger hunt and other activities. Close the lesson with an exit ticket. What did your pupils learn about maps today?
Grade 1 Literacy in Social Studies: My Informational Report About Community Workers
Get ready to teach a unit about community workers that uses Common Core literacy standards as a way to connect language arts and social studies. The packet is printable and contains teaching strategies, scripted activities, and performance tasks for reading and writing with informational texts. Children will learn about and discuss the role community workers play in their everyday lives, as well as explore the use of textual evidence in their writing and their speaking. Both the reader's and writer's workshops are broken down into comprehensive tasks by day. Worksheets, graphic organizers, web links, rubric, and standard rationale are all included.
Mid-Unit 2 Assessment: Inferring About the Silversmith Trade in Colonial Times
The seventh lesson plan in this unit on colonial trade assesses fourth graders' ability to use details from an informational text to make inferences and create a piece of informative writing. The included assessment begins with learners reading about silversmiths and using the provided graphic organizer, sorting the information into given categories. Young historians then answer an inferential question before continuing on to write a help wanted ad. A well-rounded assessment that can be used as part of the unit or as a stand-alone evaluation of young scholars reading and writing skills.
Informational Text Features
How can you tell if the text you're reading is informational or narrative? Show your reading class this basic PowerPoint to illustrate the characteristics of an informational text. What makes this presentation especially effective is that it uses grade-level texts, charts, and graphics to help assess the viewers.
Close Reading of Bullfrog at Magnolia Circle: Text Dependent Questions and Vivid Words and Phrases
As 3rd graders continue reading Bullfrog at Magnolia Circle, they focus on the concepts of predator and prey in the fifth instructional activity of this unit. Scholars further develop their ability to answer questions using evidence from the text as they look at the relationship between the bullfrog and other animals in its habitat. To better understand their reading, young scholars focus on identifying vivid language used in the book and the author's reason for choosing these unique words and phrases. Children practice using context clues to find meaning in unfamiliar vocabulary from their reading, and work in groups to act out the new words for the class. A great differentiated instructional activity that supports all learners as they continue to read and form understanding of this informational text.
Interpreting Data, Facts and Ideas from Informational Texts - A Different King of Fuel
Why do we need renewable energy resources? Discuss the energy crisis with your middle and high school classes through interpreting informational texts. An engaging video and a worksheet accompany this plan.
Reading Closely to Expand Understanding of Adaptations
Third graders work to determine the main idea, recall key details, and answer questions using an informational text on the topic of animal adaptations. Using the non-fiction text "Staying Alive: Animal Adaptations" (provided) the teacher will read the story aloud modeling fluent reading while the class follows along. Next, independently learners will re-read the story on their own using the close reading routine they worked on in a previous unit. During this process, learners will write down notes and vocabulary from the text to capture the gist of the text and compare their notes with a partner. To help capture the main idea and details from the text, readers will be guided to fill out a recording form (given). This lesson and the corresponding unit provide an organized & structured format to teach the concept of reading for information, comprehending what is read, and answering questions about a text providing supporting details. With the text and recording sheet included, it makes this lesson very easy to implement.
Close Reading of Bullfrog at Magnolia Circle: Main Ideas about the Bullfrog
As your class reaches the end of the book Bullfrog at Magnolia Circle, the seventh lesson plan in this literary unit helps third graders transition from reading narrative to expository writing. Scholars develop their note-taking skills as they read through the last page in the book, identifying the main ideas and key details they encounter. Readers are also introduced to a glossary that contains key vocabulary found in the text. Through a series small group and whole-class discussions, students continue to learn how the adaptations of a bullfrog help it to survive. A great lesson plan for teaching students how to read and comprehend expository text.
Constructing a paragraph from notes using close reading skills and visible thinking strategies is the focus of a great plan that is part of a larger unit. In earlier lessons, 4th graders deconstructed informational text and learned how to take notes on graphic organizers. Using those notes as a basis for a model paragraph, the teacher shows how to deconstruct writing with color coding. Focusing on underlining the main idea, specific details, and the conclusion on both the model paragraph and model graph organizer with different colored markers, the teacher works to illustrate the connections between the two. The informational text that the unit is based on, The Iroquois: A Six Nation Confederacy, is not provided, but the plan provides great strategies for writing that can be generalized for any informational text. Note: The link for the topic expansion graphic organizer referenced is in additional materials.