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 4. Determine important ideas and messages in informational texts

Objective d. Draw conclusions and generalizations from text to form new understanding


Begin by explaining to students that when readers read informational text it is very important that they use what they already know in addition to the text to draw conclusions about the topic. You may want to start with a power point that reveals one clue at a time about an unidentified topic and have the students guess the topic and explain what words clued them in to identifying the topic. For example, if the students were studying community helpers you may show the clues one at a time and have them guess the helper. The following clues could be modeled by the teacher with think aloud.

Clue #1 - I wear a uniform. (Think aloud: People I see in my community that wear uniforms are …)

Clue #2 - I may walk or drive a car in my assigned area. (Think aloud: Of those people the following may be walking or driving a route…)

Clue #3 - I protect citizens by enforcing laws. (Think aloud: It could be a security officer or police officer)

Clue #4 - I work for the government. (Think aloud: It must be a police officer because…)

Who am I?

Prepare at least two more slides of "Who am I?" for students to discuss offering clue by clue.

Clues Community Helper
  • I visit the community every few days.
  • I use a big truck to do my job.
  • I take away what people no longer need.
  • I empty my truck at the landfill.
Sanitation worker or trash collector
  • I come when you call.
  • I use a big truck to do my job.
  • I protect people and their homes.
  • I come when flames are involved.

Continue the slides with the clues now presented in sentence/paragraph form (present all at once so the students need to carry the clues across the sentences. After each community helper is identified by the students, go back and highlight the clues and have students tell their experiences that helped them draw the correct conclusion

Clues Community Helper
I come to everyone's home 6 days a week. I bring things that people read. Sometimes people leave me things that they want other people to receive. Who am I? Mail person
People come see me when they are sick or hurt. I find out why they have come to our place. I take their temperature. I assist the doctor during the examination. Who am I? Nurse

Adapt these examples to the community helpers that are commonly seen in the community that your school serves.


Once students have an understanding of how readers use text clues and what they already know to draw conclusions, the teacher explains that readers need to make sure that we have enough facts or evidence to draw conclusions that are correct. Choose a simple text to illustrate. One example is the text, Everything Changes by Christine Moorcroft. On pages 4-5 of this text a heading appears that says "Animals Change". The text reads, "A chameleon can change the color of its skin. It can change to match the colors around it. It changes color to hide from other animals. This is called camouflage." Following the reading of these pages explain to the students the heading suggests that animals in general change, however, the facts and illustrations on the pages just told about the chameleon. I know that dogs and cats don't change their skin color to hide, so using what I know along with the facts on the page, it would be incorrect for me to think that the text meant that all animals make this kind of change. Then go back to pages 2 & 3 of the text and read the section headed by the words "People change". Project these pages on the wall for students and read it aloud. Ask the students if they can draw a conclusion about people in general based on the facts and illustrations on this page in combination about what they know about people. (This time it is a valid conclusion for all people.) This text has several other examples to practice with students. This text would work well with moving into the concept of making generalizations for students who are ready to make that next step.