'Tape It' As You Answer Questions & Connect Ideas (Lesson 2 of 2)

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SWBAT describe the connection between a scientific ideas in informational text to answer questions.

Big Idea

Use highlighter tape the ask and answer questions and connect the ideas.


  • Magnets by Darlene R. Stille
  • Lesson vocabulary words from the Reading/Writing word wall: informational text, questioning, text features, literal, inferential, evaluative
  • Set up the whiteboard
  • Magnet questions worksheet
  • highlighter tape (you could use thin post-it notes as an alternative)


I chose this text because it's related to our science unit. Instead of picking any informational text, it's easier to read about what you're studying in social studies and science. This cross curricular experience (reading while learning about another subject) helps students generalize information they have learned. You could use any science/social studies text for this lesson. 

Students in this lesson use informational text features to answer questions (RI.2.1) (RI.2.5), but more importantly, to read critically and analyze information. 

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 previous lesson was Who Can Find The Answer? .  I would suggest doing the previous lesson first because the text is higher level. By using the first lesson as a preview of the text with focus on text features, the students will be able to understand some of the concepts and organization of the book. In this lesson when we read the book, they can bring their background knowledge as well as our discussion from this lesson.

Let's Get Excited!

5 minutes

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 and engage the students

  • What are the different kinds of questions?"  evaluative, inferential, literal
  • "Where do we find the answers to these questions?"  literal - text & illustrations/ inferential - use background knowledge and make good 'guess' / evaluative - share your opinion and back it up with reasons from the text
  • Make a concept web with students' ideas about magnets.  Talk about how the ideas are connected - magnets attract metal, the poles can attract or repel, the Earth has poles.
  • Here's our discussion of ideas in a web and how we wrapped up the activity.  This is a review as well as an informative assessment. By seeing what students can share about this topic, I know what concepts need extra review.
  • "I brought some highlighter tape today!  We'll be finding connections in the text to show the connections between concepts."
  • Here's how I wrapped up of the web activity.


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.

Teacher's Turn

15 minutes

Introduce strategy - teacher models

  • "Let's take a minute to look over the book that we used yesterday.  What were some text features and how did they help us?"  Preview the book quickly looking at text features 
  • "Today we are going to answer some questions about this topic. When we answer questions that are literal, we have to find answers in the text."  This is what the whiteboard when we started.
  • "I'm going to read Chapter 1 (pp. 5-6).  The first question is 'What is a magnetic rock called?' What kind of question is it? - that will help me answer the question. This question is a literal question because the answer is in the text (write loadstone) - I'll write 'L' for 'literal' and use my tape to show the answer in the book."
  • "Can we connect this idea to anything that we know?  yes - we know that magnets attract metal."


Students are asking and answering questions about informational text to demonstrate understanding of key details in the text. (RI.2.1). They are reading closely to determine what the text says explicitly and making logical inferences, citing text-specific evidence. Encourage them, for these inferential questions, to 'extrapolate' what's in the text - build on what's there and make a educated inference. This will create stronger answers and deeper comprehension as students not only answer the questions, but support those answers with text, illustrations or background knowledge. 


Practice strategy - guided practice

  • Here's how I assigned the task for guided practice - 'Will a paper clip move toward a magnet?'  The answer is not in the text, but I can make an inference and connect to what I know- Since the paper clip is metal and it says 'other pieces of metal will move toward a magnet, I'll write yes.'.  I'll put an 'I' next to the question, but no tape - the answer is not in the text, but I'll use what's there and build on that information."
  • "Now you can help me answer some more questions. Remember we read first and decide if it's literal (so we look in the text) or inferential (we have to use what we know). Connect these ideas to what you have already learned."
  • Read pages 9-10 and ask the question.  Prompt with literal or inferential and THINK OUT LOUD (as with the modeling) while taking students' answers and ideas.
  • Here's the completed whiteboard when we finished the practice.


As students describe these connections between scientific ideas and concepts, they are describing a connections. (RI.2.3) They are not only answering questions, they are evaluating how the ideas connect and relate to each other. The Common Core State Standards encourage this knowledge building in the disciplines, as well as the opportunity for students to acquire and utilize the academic vocabulary that comes with this study of science and social studies text.

Students Take a Turn

20 minutes

Assign Task

  • Here's how I explained what to do. I asked the students to copy the first few lines and then I assigned the task.
  • "Remember to find the evidence in the text or illustrations. That's what the tape is for - it 'highlights' the evidence."


Continue to reinforce the use of 'text features' (maps, bold words, timelines...) as evidence for answers in the questions. These are powerful support and will make the students to verify answers to questions, a push for the Common Core State Standards toward active participation of students.


Direct the activity

  • Read the pages on the Elmo as the students read or read to the students.  Read the question aloud to the students for the selected pages.
  • Call up students to find an answer and put highlighter tape on it or make an inference.
  • There are examples of other text features that give information to literal questions, as in this video of using illustrations to find answers.
  • When students were able to identify the kind of question (it's literal) then I would ask them where their evidence in the text was. This is an example of a student demonstrating how to find the answer to a literal question.
  • For those inferential questions, I would again focus on 'How do you know? What background knowledge are you using?"
  • Here's a student's completed worksheet.

Share What You've Learned

15 minutes

Discuss what you've learned

  • We discussed the answers to the questions students had found. They enjoyed sharing their ideas. I continued to query, "What's the evidence? How do you know that answer? Can you show me?"  When students say it's an evaluative question, they still have to support their opinion with facts.  "You think the magnet is strong? Why?  What supports your opinion?"
  • We went back through to see that literal answers were scattered throughout the book. This cross curricular learning - reading and questioning about our science topic, was GREAT!  
  • Once more we discussed which questions were easier to answer. The kids continue to prefer the literal questions, but after some examples, a few kids started to realize that the evaluative and inferential questions often improve comprehension more.


Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be 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 changed based on the discussion. Writing a question might be more difficult, but you could write prompts or words on the whiteboards as prompts.

To challenge students with greater ability, choose some more difficult questions. Ensure that you ask 'why' they believe the answer is literal or inferential and how they can go beyond the question to answer more fully.