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 3. Develop knowledge of organizational structure of informational text to understand what is read

Objective b. Recognize words that signal the structure of informational text


Select a text that has a strong use of words that signal sequence. Read aloud the text using interactive read aloud strategies for content and then reread select portions of the text that contain signal words. Explain to the students that authors use signal words to connect and organize the information about a topic and when readers pay attention to signal words it helps them to understand how the different facts or details about the topic are related. Point out a few examples of signal words and then continue the rereading having the students listen for the signal words. Students can utilize whatever form of every pupil response that is being used routinely in the classroom to identify signal words as the reading progresses.

For example: The teacher may read aloud Harry Houdini, Escape Artist by Patricia Lakin. This simple biography is organized from birth to death around life of the famous magician. On page 4 the author states that Ehrich Weiss was born in Hungary and that he came to America when he was very young. The teacher should draw attention to the words "born" and "very young". These words signal the beginning of someone's life. On page 5 the author describes how Ehrich's family moved many times because it was poor and "finally" came to New York. Talk about the fact that the author uses "finally" to indicate that the moving has come to an end. On page 8, the author tells us that Ehrich's boss showed him a magic trick when he was 13 years old. This helps the reader pinpoint exactly when this happened in Ehrich's life. The teacher could pause and use a time line or sequence chain to retell the facts so far emphasizing the signal words. See example below:

sequence chain

The teacher will continue the reading, having the children listen for the words that signal time order and complete the sequence chain together.