School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 2

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

Clarifications: Each clarification provides an explanation of an indicator/objective to help teachers better understand the skills and/or concepts.

Standard 2.0 Comprehension of Informational Text

Indicator 2. Identify and use text features to facilitate understanding of informational texts

Clarification

To show proficiency of the skills stated in this indicator, a reader will be able to identify and use text features. These text features are purposeful and send visual signals to the reader about the nature and use of the content. As the complexity of texts increase, these features help a reader to make predictions and draw conclusions about texts.

In order to fully understand a text, a reader should identify and use print features. A reader should take note of the use of bold or italic print, font size and type, and colored print. These signal important ideas or concepts. Authors may use print features with different purposes in mind. For example, one author might make a word bold to draw attention to a key concept or idea in the text. Another author might use a bold faced word to signal that it is defined in the glossary. While a third author might use bold face type to indicate vocabulary words that have been introduced prior to reading the text. Readers need to recognize different print features and understand that the purpose of a print feature may vary from text to text. Recognizing the importance of print features increases a reader’s understanding of an entire text by drawing attention to important ideas or concepts.

Effective use of graphic aids is necessary for comprehension of informational text. Graphic aids provide a visual interpretation of information about the topic. Graphic aids work in tandem with written text to clarify concepts, provide additional information, or summarize information found in the text. Pictures, drawings, photographs and illustrations with or without captions help the reader to visualize the ideas or concepts being presented in the text. Maps, diagrams, charts and graphs express important ideas related to the topic with a minimum amount of written text but must be read carefully in order to aid in comprehension. Early readers learn a process to read different types of graphic aids in order to enhance their understanding of an entire text.

Using informational aids such as materials lists, labels, timelines, glossed words (words defined within a text) and numbered steps appearing in text assist a reader in accessing important information. Informational aids can provide specialized information, identify materials for use in making a product, provide a visual representation for a series of events, or define words essential to the meaning of the text. Labels and captions provide students with language to describe the ideas in pictures or graphs. Using informational aids in combination with print and graphic aids supports the comprehension of a text.

When a reader uses organizational aids in text, he or she can begin to focus on the organization of the information that helps with understanding. Titles provide information about the content of the text whereas tables of contents assist in locating specific information about the topic by breaking the book’s broad topic into smaller parts called chapters. Chapter titles and headings cue a reader to the information contained in the text and help the reader locate information efficiently. Transition words help a reader follow the organization of the information and determine the relationship between the ideas. Some informational texts may have glossaries which would help students understand the meaning of a word specific to the context of the book. Effective use of these aids may help a reader develop a clear understanding of the text.

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