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 b. Use graphic aids

  • Illustrations
  • Pictures
  • Photographs
  • Drawings
  • Maps
  • Graphs
  • Charts/tables
  • Diagrams
  • Materials list


The teacher will begin the lesson by defining photographs and illustrations as graphic aids that give visual information about a subject. The teacher will model to show the children how to use illustrations and photographs to find information that supports/is similar to what is written in the text and to find extra information that is not found in the text. The teacher will conduct a shared reading of an enlarged text selection that has numerous examples of illustrations and photographs. The teacher will then examine the targeted graphic aids in a think aloud fashion so that the children will learn how the teacher determined what information in the photographs and illustrations matches the information in the text about a given subject and what information is in addition to the information in the text. The teacher will record her think aloud thoughts on a graphic organizer.

Subject Supporting/Matching Info. New Information

The whole class will work with the teacher to read a portion of an informational text (trade books, textbooks, weekly readers, etc.) and examine a photograph or illustration that goes with the text. Students, with the teacher, will use information in the graphic aid to complete a second portion of the organizer. This process will be repeated a third time with students working in small groups or with a partner as the teacher actively facilitates to assure student success. The teacher may assign additional practice examples until it is clear that the students have mastered the new learning and are able to complete a final portion of the organizer independently with success.


The teacher will select an informational text (trade book, weekly reader, text book, anthology selection, etc.) that contains a map, graph, chart, or diagram. This will be displayed as an enlarged text (big book, transparency or digital image). The teacher will model through the think aloud process a strategy for approaching the graphic aid. “The first thing I do when I see the graphic aid is read the title to determine what it is about.” The teacher will need to introduce each new type of graphic aid separately. Use the students’ prior knowledge by choosing graphic aids that the students have been introduced in math, social studies, and science. “Depending on the type of graphic aid, I need to read the labels or column and row headings to determine the details. I combine the information presented in words with the drawing portion of the graphic to draw conclusions about the topic.” This think aloud would be adapted to the particulars of the graphic aid selected. The teacher would then discuss how the graphic aid fits in with the rest of the text in the reading selection. “The author probably included this graphic aid in order to _________________ (clarify important information in the text, provide additional information to the text, or summarize important information in the text).” Once students have experience with a particular type of graphic aid then they can search for the same type of graphic aid with a partner in another text. The partners can identify the aid, tell what it is about and identify its purpose in the overall text. An organizer like the one below may be used to compile the information:

Graphic Aids
Graphic Aid Location of Aid What it is about Purpose in the text
Map Our Community p.4 Locates our state on a world map Helps me see what the text is telling me
Diagram Frogs and Toads p. 8 Shows the life cycle of a frog Summarizes what the text says about the life cycle of a frog

Students will share their finds with their classmates. The teacher will record responses on a class chart. Reinforcement may occur at a literacy station where students can examine text in a non-fiction browsing box to add one or two more examples to their individual graphic aids charts that were started above.