Fiction or Nonfiction? Considering the Common Core's Emphasis on Informational Text

6th - 12th

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.  

Resource Details

Instructional Design
Collaborative Learning
2 days

Reading an Informational Text: "It All Started with Sputnik"

Sputnik was one of the greatest scientific advancements of the 1950s, and this reading instructional 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.

Reading Comprehension: History of the Periodic Table

Although the article that launches this lesson is about the history of the Periodic Table, the objective is reading comprehension. Using the eight-page informational text, learners answer five comprehension questions and craft one essay. They utilize text features such as headings and graphics to more efficiently move through the questions, and mark the text as they read to note important facts. This is also a great way to teach vocabulary in context and text features. The reading is not difficult or long.

Reading Comprehension - Informational Passages " Leonardo da Vinci'

Practice reading comprehension and teach your English acquisition class about Leonardo da Vinci. This worksheet provides a short informational text entitled, "Leonardo da Vinci." Learners answer five multiple choice comprehension questions and five multiple choice vocabulary questions. The questions are basic and straightforward.

Reading For Information

To help learners better comprehend informational texts, they work through a series of activities. They discuss strategies, make predictions, skim passages, focus on key words, and practice taking notes. This lesson focuses on what to do before, during, and after reading. It also includes an information collection chart and handouts.

The Final Analysis: Cause and Effect, Fact and Opinion

Middle schoolers read and review informational texts, analyze cause and effect, and distinguish fact from opinion. They assess a "one-minute mystery" you read aloud for cause and effect relationships. Resource includes complete set of rubrics, charts, and worksheets. Includes thoughtfully designed collaborative group work. 

Characteristics of Informational Texts

Learners 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.

Taboo Table Talk

Create memories for your family that are enjoyable, as well as helping to enhance their ability to read and understand information.

Using a "Before Reading" Organizer with Informational Text

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.

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. 

Identify Purposes of Text

Set a purpose for reading informational texts with this reading instructional activity. 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 instructional activity, which is included as a .gif file. Additionally, they write a summary of what they have read.

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