I chose this text because it's related to our science unit. Instead of picking a random informational text, it's easier to read about what you're studying in social studies and science. This cross curricular experience (reading about the social studies or science subject) helps students generalize information they have learned. You could use any science/social studies text for this lesson. Make sure it has the same text features as the 'match' worksheet and make up new questions for the Teachers' Turn/Students' Turn portion.
This is a 2 part lesson because the book has lots of great information and I want to try different reading strategies with this text. The text is also listed as as 2.8 reading level, which is slightly above most of my students. By using this first lesson as a preview of the text with focus on text features, the students are able to understand some of the concepts and organization of the book. When we actually read the book in the second lesson, they can bring their background knowledge as well as our discussion from this lesson.
For the first lesson, we'll be finding answers and questioning with text features in the book. (RI.2.1) Students are using these text features to find evidence to answer questions in informational text, an emphasis of the Common Core Standards. We only preview the book in the lesson and don't actually use close reading. In the next lesson, we'll delve deeper into the text to ask and answer specific questions.
Underlined words below are lesson vocabulary words that are emphasized and written on sentence strips for my Reading & Writing word wall. I pull off the words off the wall for each lesson, helping students understand this key 'reading and writing' vocabulary can be generalized across texts and topics. The focus on acquiring and using these words is part of a shift in the Common Core Standards towards building students’ academic vocabulary. My words are color coded ‘pink’ for literature/’blue’ for reading strategies/’orange’ for informational text/'yellow' for writing/’green’ for all other words)
Common starting point
Get students engaged
I have taught the reading strategy of 'questioning' with Informational Text in 2 previous lessons include 'Big Questions about Informational Text' and 'What Are You Asking About Informational Text?' If you feel that your students need more review and instruction about how to answer questions and the type of questions, I encourage you to start with these lessons.
Give the purpose of the lesson
Introduce strategy - teacher models
Practice strategy - guided practice
Direct the activity
These text features, that they are defining and using to locate key facts and information in the text efficiently are vital to improving comprehension. (RI.2.5) Students are analyzing the structure of txts and how the features related to each other and provide information beyond the text and illustrations. By using this text and creating questions for students to answer with text features, I have created a carefully structured situation allowing students to solve problems more independently. This is a shift in the Common Core State Standards toward expecting active participation from the students as they draw on their own abilities and the teacher becomes more of a facilitator rather than a provider of information.
Apply what you know
Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be easily scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.
Students with academic challenges should be a able to participate in the 'matching' worksheet because answers can be moved around, based on the discussion. Writing a question might be more difficult, but you could write prompts or words on the whiteboards as prompts as I did in this video prompting a student with challenges..
To challenge students with greater ability, encourage them to write more inferential questions. They can use the 'question words chart' to choose more difficulty wording, such as 'could', 'are' or 'can' instead to the traditional 'wh' words.