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.
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
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.
Introduce strategy - teacher models
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
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.
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
Discuss what you've learned
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.