Informational Text Teacher Resources

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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.
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.
Determine a purpose for reading informational text. They work in groups to skim an assigned text in order to determine a purpose for reading the text more closely. Fifth graders complete a reading plan, read the text, and then evaluate the plan for its effectiveness.
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.
Summarizing is an excellent reading comprehension strategy; learners use the informational text About Trees (linked for printing) to put this skill to use. Model through a think-aloud as you read a section of the book and scholars read along with you. You can use the script here or speak naturally, but be sure to voice your thinking to the class. This is an excellent time to demonstrate note taking and finding main ideas. Assign a paragraph to partners, then have them share what the main idea was. You'll find a guide to all three paragraphs from this section to help structure discussion. 
As 3rd graders continue reading Bullfrog at Magnolia Circle, they focus on the concepts of predator and prey in the fifth lesson 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, students 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 lesson that supports all learners as they continue to read and form understanding of this informational text.
Readers identify main ideas and supporting details using informational texts. In this literacy activity, they make predictions and read the text to find the main ideas. They use a table diagram to define the main idea and supporting details. Then, they use the diagrams to write a paragraph about the main idea from the text.
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 plan provides a complete assessment of the listening, reading, and writing skills developed by pupils during the course of this research-based unit.    
Set a purpose for reading informational texts with this reading lesson. To find the central idea of a text, young readers turn titles and subtitles into questions to help them understand the text. They complete a T-chart for the lesson, which is included as a .gif file. Additionally, they write a summary of what they have read.
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?
Individuals complete a pre-assessment to gauge their ability to determine the main idea and supporting details in nonfiction text. They examine a new piece of nonfiction reading by looking at the table of contents, headings, and index before using a table diagram to record the main idea and supporting details. Using the information from the table, they write a paragraph about the reading.
Examine the book Stargazers by Gail Gibbons. Young readers will practice reading and interpreting information from diagrams in this informational text. They work together as a class on this skill and then move into independent practice. Additionally, they will discover that diagrams are one characteristic of informational texts.
Explore connections within and between informational texts with this lesson about encyclopedia articles. Middle schoolers write encyclopedia articles focusing on topics in American history. They discuss how to determine credibility online, practice fact checking, assess their own ability to read actively and skeptically, and write memos that educate others on how to do so. This resource provides vocabulary, assessment options, extensions, and interdisciplinary connections.
Lead your students in creating a graphic organizer that uses the titles and subtitles of an informational text. Your class should recognize and use features of narrative and informational text before connecting and remembering the main idea and details in reading to meet their purpose for reading.
Students explore informational texts. In this language arts instructional activity, students discuss the elements of informational texts and read an informational text and identify the characteristics of informational texts.
In the third lesson from this unit based on the book Bullfrog at Magnolia Circle, learners focus on using specific details from the text-to-answer questions about the habitat of bullfrogs. While reading the text, young scholars are asked to identify vivid language used by the author and explain why they think those words and phrases were chosen. As pupils encounter new and difficult vocabulary, they practice using context clues to determine their meaning. This vocabulary skill is reinforced further as they work in groups to act out the meaning of new words from the text. An excellent combination of reading, writing, and discussion, this resource is comprehensive and includes everything you need as your class continues to investigate the world of the bullfrog.
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.  
Using informational text to make cross cultural comparisons is a great way to build a global understanding and comparative analysis skills. With several handy worksheets and a Venn diagram the class will read to make cross textual comparisons about specific topics related to all cultures. They'll read several texts and make comparisons about religion, food, and society. 
Sixth graders review organizational elements of informational text to locate important ideas. They enhance their skills by writing a simple citation, and evaluate one another's summaries for effectiveness. Several worksheets are included to help your writers create their summary, but the Transition Words and Phrases page is especially helpful. Dozens of transition words are provided for your young learners to select and experiment with. 
Young readers explore informational texts as they read a text entitled Giant Pandas by Gail Gibbons. The teacher will begin by explaining that one characteristic of informational texts is that they teach the reader new information and facts about a topic. Then after watching a modelled think-aloud and reading the text together as a class, individuals will review their new knowledge about informational texts by identifying one new fact they learned from the reading. 

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