Students learn reading comprehension skills, such as finding the main idea and summarizing text, and apply these skills to informational and argumentative texts. They also develop their writing and speaking skills.
Non-fiction Texts unit contains 11 learning experiences.
Learning Experiences (Lessons) in Non-fiction Texts Each learning experience takes about 45 minutes to teach in the device-enabled classroom.
Let’s Read an Article
Students prepare to read and comprehend nonfiction writing. They generate questions and make predictions in advance, so they know what to look for to deepen their understanding of the content. Then they read and correct or confirm those predictions using a structured approach.
Understanding What You Read
Students make inferences using their existing knowledge to increase their reading comprehension. They monitor their own understanding of what they are reading and learn techniques to use when they have trouble understanding. Then they identify key points in a text and compare information in multiple sources.
What’s the Main Idea?
Students explore what main ideas and supporting details are and how to find them. They read several passages and identify and evaluate details to identify key ideas. Finally, they research an additional fact to add to one of the supporting details for the article read in the experience.
Students read an article and practice summarizing and paraphrasing it. Then they analyze and synthesize information to create new material that maintains the original meaning. They learn to distinguish the differences between paraphrasing and plagiarism when writing.
Reading Informational Texts
Students analyze the features of informational text. Using the text features, students predict what the text will teach them. Then they learn about the common organizational patterns of informational text. While reading, they analyze how the author structured the informational text. Then they determine the main idea and the details that support it. Finally, they write a summary based on the main idea and details.
Writing Informational Text
Students write an informational passage with an order/ sequence organizational structure. First, they choose a topic and then move through the writing process from prewriting, to drafting, to revising and editing. They use informational text features in their writing. Students will self-evaluate based on a rubric.
Reading Argumentative Text
Students learn the elements of an argumentative text and identify them in a short passage. Next, they explore the connection between knowing a text’s audience and reading argumentative text. Then they read an argumentative passage and identify the audience, claim, reasons, and evidence. Finally, they consider whether the argument in the passage they read is convincing.
Writing Argumentative Text
Students compose an argumentative text. First they choose a topic and then they develop it through the writing process from prewriting, to drafting, to revising and editing. They apply the characteristics and organizational structure of argumentative texts to their own writing.
Let’s Have a Debate
Students work in groups on a debate topic. Each group subdivides into teams for and against the topic. Teams research the debate topic in order to plan their initial speech and rebuttal. Teams listen to and address the opposing team’s speech in order to adequately address the arguments made. The students not participating in the debate listen and take notes so they may ask the teams questions as needed. The audience votes on which team presented a more convincing argument.
Writing a Formal Letter
Students brainstorm about letter writing. Then, they learn the difference between informal and formal (business) letters and study formal letter format. Next, they consider the purposes of the parts of a business letter, and they explain why business letter format is important. Finally, they write a letter requesting information and a letter responding to it.
Book Report (Non-fiction)
Students choose a non-fiction book to read and explain why they chose it. Next, they use pre-reading strategies to make predictions and ask questions. Then they read the book and monitor comprehension by completing graphic organizers. After reading, they evaluate the book with post-reading strategies. Finally, they write a book report, rate the book, and create a new cover for it.