School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 2

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

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 2.0 Comprehension of Informational Text

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

Objective a. Use print features

  • Large bold print
  • Font size/type
  • Italics
  • Colored print
  • Headings/subheadings and chapter titles
  • Labels
  • Captions
  • Numbered steps


The teacher will select an informational text that includes a specific print feature (large bold print, font size/type, italics or colored print). Types of text for this activity could include a big book, a kids’ news magazine article, a leveled reader or a selection from an anthology. All students should have a copy of the text or the teacher should use an enlarged copy of the text. The teacher will conduct a shared reading of the text and then draw attention to the selected text feature. The teacher will think aloud to introduce the text feature and describe its characteristics (what it looks like). For example, “The words in colored print look different from the rest of the words in the selection.” The teacher will then think aloud to examine how the text feature helps the reader. “The colored print draws my attention to the specific word because the author wants me pay close attention to the word and know that it is important. As I read on, I will try to remember this important word.” The teacher writes this information on a text features chart like the one below:

Informational Text – Print Features
Print Feature Example How Did It Help Me
Different Colored print President
Vice President
Words in colored print are important words to remember
Bold face print Enormous
Words in bold face print are words that we discussed in class
Different Colored print mammal
Words in colored print are defined in the glossary

Students should examine further pages of the text above and locate other words in colored print from the text. The teacher will add these words to a chart entitled “Important Words to Remember about __(Topic)_________”. Following the reading, the students will review important words chart and summarize what they have learned from the text using these words. They will end the lesson with a rereading of the Text Feature chart emphasizing how the text feature helped the reader. In subsequent lessons, the teacher will add different text features or relist a previously studied text feature with a different purpose. See above.


The teacher can distribute copies of informational text, i.e. reading anthology selections, leveled readers, weekly news magazines, content texts and trade books, that have print features. Students will work in pairs to locate and identify print features that have been added to the class chart. The students will use Wikki Stix or post-its to mark these features. The teacher will circulate to assist pairs. After several minutes, have student pairs take turns sharing a print feature and identifying its purpose in the text.


Review the text features chart with the students. Distribute paper copies of an informational article that does not have any print features to student pairs. Have students read the text and identify words that either need explanation or would be important to remember after reading. Direct student pairs to highlight the words that they choose. Have student pairs share their suggestions and explain why they chose those words and how adding the highlighting would help contribute to a reader’s understanding of the text.


During small group reading time of an informational text that contains few or no print features, the teacher will lead a discussion about how different print features help a reader understand the text better. As the text is read, the students will identify the most important words or phrases that best convey the meaning of the text or difficult words that could be defined in a glossary. The students will use wiki stix or post-it flags to signal these words. After reading, the students will discuss the words that they selected and justify why the addition of a print feature help the reader. They may discuss which kind of print adjustment would be most effective and why.


Provide a basket of developmentally appropriate informational texts at a center. Have students skim the books to locate print features that are on the class chart. Provide copies of the chart below to the students to complete on their own or with a partner.

Title of Book Print Feature Example How it Helps the Reader