School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 5

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 1.0 General Reading Processes

Topic E. General Reading Comprehension

Indicator 2. Use strategies to prepare for reading (before reading)


To show proficiency of the skills stated in this indicator, a reader should have a cadre of practical strategies to activate prior to reading any text. Using these strategies should ease an entry to a text and support a reader's basic comprehension.

A reader should peruse each page of a text and take note of all its text features. The type and amount of text features will vary according to the level and genre of the text. It is not sufficient for a reader simply to identify a type of text feature. However, it is necessary for a reader to begin to understand a text by noting the type and amount of information from text features and to use this information throughout the reading of the text.

The types of text features a student encounters will vary between informational and literary text. Informational text is more likely to contain charts, graphs, word boxes, diagrams, sidebars, etc… while literary text could feature captioned illustrations, text within text like one character's letter to another character, selected words in bold or italicized print, etc…Any text feature in either type of text reveals a clue to understanding.

Using the information from the survey of text features, a reader should be able to set a purpose for reading the text. At times, the instructor may set a reading purpose for a student or a reader may set an individual reading purpose. These purposes may include a goal to acquire additional information or details from a science text or to confirm or refute a prediction made about a character's actions based upon an initial survey. For a longer text, the setting of goals and making predictions about the text are ongoing.

Additionally, prior to a first reading, a student may use the survey of text features to draw connections between his/her prior knowledge and the supposed content of the text. Also the survey may reveal that the format or organization of the text is a familiar one.

The use of text features to set purposes, make predictions, and connect to previous learning creates an advantage for a student to achieve a basic understanding from a first read of a text.