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 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

Indicator 2. Use text features to facilitate understanding of literary texts

Objective a. Identify and explain how the title contributes to meaning


Ask students to explain how they use the title of a text. During the discussion students may respond that they use the title to help decide if they want to read the selection or book and also to predict what the text will be about. Explain that authors try to select titles that will attract readers to the texts by making them interesting. Titles of the text also must be connected to the story so they can offer the reader clues about the story characters or events. The title "hooks" or invites the reader into the story. Some authors have invented popular characters and include the name of the character in the title of each additional book they write. Share examples of this type of book by showing copies of series books such as those on the chart below. Have students share other books that they read that are built around a familiar character. Explain to the students that choosing books about familiar characters helps the reader predict because they already know something about the characters and setting, so they just have to concentrate on the new story problem and events that lead to the resolution of the problem.

Type of Book Titles How it helps us? Examples
Title includes the name of a familiar character Predict the characters, setting, and story line based on other stories read about the same character Series books such as:
Henry & Mudge
Nate the Great
Amelia Bedelia
Cam Jansen
Junie B. Jones
Word fun Sets a rhythm and often repeats a line from the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom
Tikki Tikki Tembo
Title is a Character name Predict if it's going to be about a girl or boy; sometimes names are given to animals so pictures can help Amazing Grace — about a girl
Big Max — about a man detective
Big Al — about a fish
Jessica — about an imaginary friend
Tells significant story event or problem Predict the story line of the story; may help after reading by helping determine the story's main idea A Chair for My Mother
The Dog that Stole Football Plays
The Emperor's New Clothes
The Shortest Kid in the World
Charlie Needs a Cloak
May pose a question Predict a story problem or theme Mama, Do You Love Me?
Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Bully?
Who Sank the Boat?
How Much is that Guinea Pig in the Window?
"Case of…" or mystery Predict that there will be a character trying to solve a crime or mystery Case of the Cool Itch Kid
The Missing Fossil Mystery
Mystery of the Blue Ring
The Riddle of the Red Purse
The Case of the Hungry Stranger

Use the chart above for examples of other types of clues that early readers might use to predict stories. After reading the text, lead discussions that come back to the title. Discuss how the title relates to the story. Did it tell a character trait? Did it refer to a story event? Was it a phrase that was repeated in the story? etc. Have student pairs and individuals use the titles to predict before reading and reflect after reading during small group lessons. Provide opportunities for students to respond to oral and written prompts related to the title following both assigned and self-selected independent readings.