Informational Text Teacher Resources

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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.
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.  
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.
In the first lesson 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 lesson, 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.      
Sputnik was one of the greatest scientific advancements of the 1950s, and this reading lesson 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.
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.    
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 plan 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 plan 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.
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?
Although this is part of a series, lesson 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.  
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, 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. 
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. 
Third graders engage in a lesson in technology in order to integrate with Language Arts. They have opportunities to demonstrate their informational text comprehension through the presentation of a slide show containing graphics and text.
Third graders complete research on an informational text and complete a slide show for their questions and research. In this informational text activity, 3rd graders write questions for an informational text they've read. Students then research the answers to the questions and present their research in a slide show format.
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. 
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. 
When reading informational texts, young readers often need help processing the evidence or facts presented in the text. Use this learning exercise to help your class organize the information presented in a text, therefore more easily understand it. There is space to list facts from two separate texts side-by-side, facilitating the comparison of those two texts. Simple in design, th resource could be used with almost any 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.
First graders discover how heading help us make predictions. The class discusses how informational text typically has heading that can aid them in determining what a chapter will be about. They read the heading and make predictions for each section of the book, A First Look at Animals: On the Farm, and then check the text to see if their predictions where correct.

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