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 c. Use informational aids

  • Materials lists
  • Timelines
  • Captions
  • Glossed words
  • Labels
  • Numbered steps


The teacher will begin the lesson by reviewing an informational text/resource read the previous day by the class. The resource selected should include specific dates for events in the text. Possible resources that can be used are social studies or science related trade books or text books or a weekly reader. The teacher will then display a timeline reflective of events and dates found in the information resource. Using this timeline, the teacher will model how it can be used to construct meaning from the text. The teacher will first define a timeline as an informational aid that shows events in time order – what happened first, what happened next and so on. The teacher will draw students’ attention to the title of the timeline which helps the reader know the overall subject. When examining events on the timeline, the teacher will explore how the events are related.

The teacher will then use the displayed timeline and model how to locate its’ subject by examining the title. This title will be underlined by the teacher. Using “Think Aloud’, the teacher will ask questions about events in the resource which can be answered using the dates on the timeline. As the teacher uses the timeline to locate the correct date for each question asked, “color coding” of the correct date on the timeline should occur. Possible generic questions could be “In what year, did ______?” “Why was it important that _____ happened after______?” “How many years take it take _____ to accomplish_______?” As the teacher models how to use the timeline to better understand the sequence of events, the teacher will write each event with its’ corresponding circled date on the timeline onto the following graphic organizer (see below)

Event Date on timeline

The teacher will conclude the modeling piece by explaining that a timeline provides the reader with a clear picture of the sequence in which events occurred. Often the timeline allows the reader to visualize the correct order of events easier than the written text. After modeling how to properly use the timeline to gain information, the teacher can now explain how all events on the timeline are interdependent and related. This final part of the “I Do” will demonstrate to the students how timelines found in the text can enhance reader comprehension.

The whole class with the teacher will use the class timeline in order to locate dates which answer two more questions relative to events from the resource. At this time, individual timelines reflective of the class timeline should be provided to each student. As dates are located for each question asked, students will circle the date on their “student copy timeline”. Each date should be color coded in order to highlight the relevant event found. Students, with the teacher, will record these events with their appropriate dates on a “student copy” of the graphic organizer.

This process will be repeated for a third time with students working independently as they use their “student timeline” to identify and circle the dates of events which answer two final questions about the text. Students should record these dates and questions on their “student graphic organizer”.

*Teacher Note: Timelines should include more dates than are needed to answer all questions asked during the lesson. Be sure to refer to all parts of the text as students use their timeline to locate the dates of events that answer questions asked.


The teacher will discuss with the students a particular upcoming class or activity (art class project, packing for homework, a center activity, etc.). The teacher will lead a discussion about what the students would need in order to complete the activity successfully. The teacher will compose a class list of the materials suggested by the children. The teacher will introduce the concept of a “materials list” using this model. Discussion will center around the fact that a materials list helps us to identify what is needed to complete a given task and how the successful completion of an activity is dependent on having all of the necessary materials assembled in advance. The teacher can then display age appropriate recipes, sets of directions and science experiments. Students can observe different ways that the authors display the materials list prior to the task. Students can predict what might happen if a person did not have all of items on the materials list in advance of the completion of the task. Students may work in pairs to generate materials lists based on existing classroom routines (i.e. lunch, special subjects, reading groups, centers, etc.) or to create materials lists for print texts (recipes, sets of directions or science experiments) that do not have them.