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 3. Develop knowledge of organizational structure of informational text to understand what is read


To show proficiency of the skills stated in this indicator, a reader will show an understanding of the patterns in a text, which are its organizational structures. Using text features will assist a reader in determining the type of text. As the complexity of a text increases, a reader will advance from identifying the type of text to recognizing different organization structures used in the text.

Early readers should distinguish between fiction and nonfiction text. Readers need to recognize that fictional materials tell stories that did not actually happen and non-fiction materials give the reader information about real events, places, people, and things. Before reading a text, readers should take note of text features that may signal that a given text is fiction or nonfiction. With their purpose for reading in mind, early readers acquire different strategies for unlocking the meaning and enjoyment of both fiction and nonfiction text.

Recognizing words and phrases that signal sequential and chronological order is necessary for gaining meaning from expository text. Being sensitive to text structure, how a selection is organized, helps the reader to make better sense of the information by focusing on the key ideas or concepts presented by the author. Signal words help the reader link together these important concepts and ideas. Early readers learn to look for signal words, such as before, after, next, then, first, second, finally, last etc. to help them determine the order in informational text. Specific dates and words that express units of time also signal order. By paying attention to signal words the reader forms the intended relationship between the ideas which leads to overall comprehension. Early readers have limited exposure to informational texts and the unique structures that define them.

Efficient early readers recognize sequential and chronological order as one type of text structure. Informational texts that follow this structure tell the order that a series of events occurred or the order in which steps in a process should happen. For example, a biography might be organized in the order that significant events happened in a person's life. A set of directions may be organized in the order that the steps should occur. Though different, both of these are good examples of this text structure. Using a sequence chain or variation helps the reader remember the important information in text that is written in sequential and chronological order.

Early readers recognize and use main ideas and supporting details as the basic organizational structure used in informational text. The main idea is an important idea about the topic that the author is discussing. Sometimes the author directly states the idea and sometimes it is implied (the reader needs to figure it out and put it in their own words). The supporting details are the facts, examples, reasons, or descriptions that the author has included about the main idea. Not all details in the paragraph or section are important to the main idea. In order for early readers to comprehend text they need to determine the main idea and decide which details are important and how they fit together.