Reading Informational Text


ELAR-Grade-8 Non-fiction Texts Reading Informational Text
Students explore the various types of organizational structures common in informational texts and then read short examples and identify each structure. Then, they preview a passage, making predictions based on the text features and organizational structures. Next, they read the passage and analyze it using their knowledge of the organizational structure. Finally, they identify the main idea and supporting details within the passage.

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Here are the teacher pack items for Reading Informational Text:

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Overview

In this experience, students explore the various types of organizational structures common in informational texts and then read short examples and identify each structure. Then, they preview a passage, making predictions based on the text features and organizational structures. Next, they read the passage and analyze it using their knowledge of the organizational structure. Finally, they identify the main idea and supporting details within the passage.

Objectives

  • Identify and describe common informational text structures.
  • Make predictions based on the text features.
  • Identify the main idea and supporting details.
  • Summarize the main idea using relevant information from the passage as support.

Duration

One or two class periods.

Vocabulary Words in the Article

  • satellite: a man-made object placed in orbit around a planet or moon to gather information
  • space debris: trash or junk found in space; mostly pieces of spaceships or rockets no longer in use
  • orbit: the path or track of a planet or other object in space
  • defunct: not working
  • vaporize: to turn into vapor


In this experience, you will read a passage about space junk orbiting our Earth and see what some scientists are trying to do about it. The passage is informational text.

While you read, you will consider how the information is organized, what the main and supporting details are, and what strategies you can use to understand the text.

Objectives

  • Identify and describe common informational text structures.
  • Make predictions based on the text features.
  • Identify the main idea and supporting details.
  • Summarize the main idea using relevant information from the passage as support.


spacecraft looking down on Earth

If you were trying to find out information about space junk orbiting our Earth, where would you look? To list more than one source, separate your ideas with a comma, like this: kitchen, bedroom

Post your answer

Discuss student responses. Point out that although some students may think about looking at fictional sources to get some ideas, most people would turn to sources such as scientific websites, textbooks, science magazines, etc. 


The sources you would use to find out about space junk orbiting our Earth are informational texts, which provide facts about a topic for the purpose of informing the reader.


In the table below, describe what you already know about informational text. Begin by thinking about a text or passage you have read. If someone has already listed your fact, try to think of a different one.



Discuss student responses and generate a list of the various characteristics of informational text. Guide students to see that they encounter informational texts all the time, not just in school. Help set the stage for why it is important to have specific strategies for reading informational texts that are different from the strategies they use to read fiction or poetry.


How you read and process the information you find differs based on where you are getting your information. There are sites on the Internet where anyone is able to post, whether or not they have the correct facts. Therefore, you have to read that information differently than when you read a textbook or another informational text. Yet even books and articles (informational texts) are different in how the information is presented. By learning some common features and text structures, you can learn how to adjust your reading and improve your comprehension. Throughout the rest of this experience, you will look at how to read informational texts.


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The Complete List of Learning Experiences in Non-fiction Texts Unit.
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