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 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

Indicator 7. Identify and describe the author's use of language


To show proficiency of the skills stated in this indicator, a reader will be able to identify and explain an author's use of language. The author’s words and phrases are purposeful and appeal to the emotions and the senses of the reader. When used with other text elements, they assist readers in constructing meaning of an entire text.

To identify and explain how dialogue contributes to a narrative, a reader should know that one way character is revealed is by what a character says and what other characters say about him/her. The words an author selects for a character to say or have said about him/her are part of the development of that character. Dialogue also helps to move the story along. What the characters say may reveal events or emotions that propel the story forward or pose obstacles that slow the story down or create tension.

To identify specific words and phrases that contribute to meaning in a literary text, an early reader should be aware of specific words and phrases in texts or portions of texts that provide a reader with precise meanings or description. Words that are necessary to a reader’s understanding of the text are identified as significant words. Readers begin to notice that words have literal meanings (denotation) and may also have connotative meanings (idea or feeling associated with a word in addition to its literal meaning). Readers also discover that familiar words can have many meanings depending on the context. Figures of speech or character dialects which are unfamiliar may be encountered.

To identify specific words and punctuation that create tone in a literary text, a reader must first know that tone expresses an author’s attitude toward his or her subject. For early readers, tone may be most easily detected in oral rereading of text containing dialogue. The student could detect the author’s tone by answering the question “How would the character say these words?”. By determining the tone of voice that the character might use, the reader may be able to identify the tone of the passage.

An early reader will connect with text when he identifies language that appeals to the senses and feelings in a literary text. Words that appeal to the senses of sight, smell, hearing, taste, and touch help evoke an image as the student reads. These words and phrases make the characters, setting and events in the story seem real. This helps the student understand the text more fully.

An early reader identifies the author’s use of repetition and exaggeration to create interest in the story. Authors may repeat a sound, word, phrase or line. They may stretch the truth in order to add humor or drama to the reading. Both of these elements can be used for emphasis or effect.