Lesson: Marking up the Text

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Lesson Objective

Students will know and be able to use the “Mark-Up the Text” strategy to track their thinking while reading a non-fiction text.

Lesson Plan



State Standard:

5.LT-G.2. Identify and analyze the characteristics of various genres (poetry, fiction, nonfiction, short story, dramatic literature) as forms with distinct characteristics and purposes.






Students will know and be able to use the “Mark-Up the Text” strategy to track their thinking while reading a non-fiction text.

Do Now

Using the dictionaries at your desk define: Metacognition. 



Thumbs up/down- 

Have you ever read a non-fiction text and been confused? Do you highlight when reading non-fiction text? Would you like a strategy to track your thinking when reading a non-fiction text?

Direct Instruction

T: Readers often time when I am reading a non-fiction text, I find myself underlining, highlighting and writing in the margins. Why do you think I do that? You are right, there is usually so much information or I have questions and I need to keep track of my thinking. Today, I am going to teach you how to mark up a text to keep track of your thinking. This is really helpful when you are reading a complicated non-fiction text. One in which you have no back ground knowledge or even one in which you do have knowledge and are really interested in learning more. You can also use this strategy when taking the DC-CAS.



The strategy is simply called “Marking up the Text.”  A good teacher friend of mine taught it to me and now I want to share it with you. There are a bunch a reason to mark-up a text. Let’s brainstorm together some reasons.


Create an anchor chart of reasons why you mark-up a text-



I Wonder


Word’s they don’t know

Big ideas


T: Show sample text. Look at the text I marked up do you see how I used the same codes over and over. These codes help me recall my thinking.  I will teach them to you.


When I learn something new I write  Aha! next to it. This way when I go back and review the text, I know this is a part where I discovered or learned something.


When I am confused, have a question, need to research, I wonder, I write Huh? next to it.  


If it is something I already know and my knowledge was confirmed I write Mmhmm- (I already know that)


I am going to add aha, Huh and Mhmmm to our anchor chart so that we can use them over and over again.


Guided Practice

Put article on overhead so that students can see you mark-up text.

T: Now let’s practice together. We will read this short articled (use a Time for Kids or Scholastic) and mark-it up together.




Independent Practice

Scaffold articles and allow students to choose.

T: Now I want you to try this strategy. Choose one the articles on your desk. Practice marking-it up.





Review strategy purpose and use.





Review independent assignment.




Lesson Resources

Time for Kids


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