Lesson: Signal Words

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Lesson Objective

Students will know and be able to use signal words to predict within a story.

Lesson Plan



State Standard:

5.IT-E.5. Identify common organizational structures such as chronological order and cause and effect. 



Students will know and be able to use signal words to predict within a story.


Do Now

Respond to the following quote in your journal: “You don’t know where you going until you know where you’ve been.”-Anonymous



Sometimes readers we have to predict what is going to happen while reading a text. Author’s don’t just tell us what is going to happen. We have to make predictions and inferences. The good news is that authors give us clues to help make good inferences and predictions.


Direct Instruction

Readers authors don’t always tell us what is going to happen. Sometimes they use signal words. Signal words give us hints that something is going to happen. Understanding signal words helps us comprehend the text even more.  Here is a list of signal words that we see every day in our reading. Let’s look at a few and see if we can think about what the author wants us to pay attention to (see attached for words)


Use sample text to find example of signal words in text. Talk about what the words signal.


ex. Word-Surprisingly Purpose: expect the unexpected



Guided Practice

Have students practice using these online examples: 


Signal Words: http://www.resourceroom.net/comprehension/signalwordslist.asp


Give students a sample test passage. Apply this strategy to text-taking. Talk about how this strategy will help during test taking as well.

Independent Practice

Have students practice finding signal words in their independent text. They will choose several signal words and write about what the signal words help them make predictions and inferences.



Discuss how signal words help our comprehension.



Observe students ability to notice and predict with signal words.


Lesson Resources

Signal Words  


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