School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 4

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Advanced/Gifted and Talented: An advanced/gifted and talented tool is an idea for a complex, multi-step instructional task that requires students to apply knowledge and skills of multiple objectives that support one indicator. Tasks require students to interpret, analyze, and evaluate text at an appropriate level of complexity and embed a variety of differentiation strategies to challenge advanced readers. Many of these strategies and activities can be adapted for use with all students.

Standard 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

Indicator 2. Use text features to facilitate understanding of literary texts

Objective c. Identify and explain how informational aids such as introductions and overviews, materials lists, timelines, captions, glossed words, labels, numbered steps, bulleted lists, footnoted words, pronunciation keys, transition words, end notes, works cited, other information aids encountered in informational texts contribute to meaning

Other Objectives Addressed

a.Identify and explain how organizational aids such as the title of the book, story, poem, or play contribute to meaning
b.Identify and explain how graphic aids such as pictures and illustrations, punctuation, print features contribute to meaning

Instructional Task

The students will use text features to create narratives that facilitate younger students' understanding of literary texts. The narratives will be given to a third grade teacher for use when the third grade students are studying realistic fiction, tall tales, legends, fables, fairy tales, or biographies. The teacher may vary this task by using student-generated narratives that are being edited for sharing with the third grade classes. When using student work, have each student edit a peer's text (authentic product).

Development of Task

  1. Using the chart below, the teacher will review the three categories of text features and have students discuss how each text feature facilitates understanding of text (Objectives a - c). The teacher will use this activity to identify which text features, if any, may require direct teaching before proceeding with the task (curriculum compacting)
CategoriesText FeaturesThis text feature aids understanding of the text by:
Organizational AidsTitles
Chapter titles
Graphic AidsPunctuation
Print features
Informational AidsFootnotes
Biographical information
  1. The teacher will provide students with a choice of three narratives of different genres (realistic fiction, tall tales, legends, fables, fairy tales, or biographies) written at appropriate levels of complexity which have had all text features removed other than punctuation (choice).
  2. After students have read the narratives without text features, students will decide which text features best facilitate the understanding of their particular narratives (analysis). Students may work individually or in pairs to recreate narratives using text features from all three categories: organizational, graphic, and informational (synthesis).
  3. Students will present their work to the larger group, explaining which text features they used, giving the reasons why they chose each feature, and explaining how each feature added to the understanding of the text. Students should also explain why they decided not to use a particular text feature and relate this decision to the characteristics of the genre. The whole group should then judge if the narrative is understandable to the third grade students or if further text features should be added (evaluation).
  4. If possible, the teacher should get feedback from the third grade students about how the text features did or did not facilitate their understanding of the texts.
Resources for Objective 3.A.2.c:
Lesson Seeds | ADVANCED/G-T |