School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 3

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 1.0 General Reading Processes

Topic E. General Reading Comprehension

Indicator 2. Use strategies to prepare for reading (before reading)

Objective a. Survey and preview the text by examining features such as the title, pictures, illustrations, photographs, charts, and graphs


The teacher should place students in pairs and give each pair a text that is rich in text features. Students should be instructed to preview the text and highlight or make note of all the text features. For each text feature, students should note what kind of information is provided and how that information helps a reader before reading the text.


The teacher should share a text with an abundance of text features with the class. Ideally, the text size should be expanded so that it is easily visible for all students. An overhead or a presenter is suggested. The teacher should talk about the text features in “think aloud” mode identifying the text feature and talking about the information it shares. Once this modeling is complete, the teacher should place students in small groups and provide each member of the group with another text. Each student in the group should be assigned a text feature in the text. Students should have an appropriate amount of time to review their assigned text feature. Then using the same “think aloud” model as the teacher, each student will identify the text feature and its information.


In this activity, the focus is on the location of certain text features. Prior to the activity the teacher should select an age-appropriate text and preview its text features to determine a reason for their placement. When presenting this to students, pictures are a good place to begin. Beginning with the first picture, the teacher should note its placement on the page. Students should then be instructed to read the text nearest to or surrounding the picture to determine if that picture placement can help a reader understand that portion of text. This process can be completed with any remaining pictures and should be continued with any other text feature where its placement could assist comprehension.


This activity can be accomplished with the entire class, small groups, or pairs of students. Each individual, group, or pair should be given an age-appropriate text, which has an abundance of text features. The teacher should instruct students to preview all the text features in the text. To begin, the teacher should ask students to respond to the question, “What is this text about?” The students should respond to this question based solely upon the text features. Next, the teacher should ask students to respond to the question, “How is this text organized?” Again, students should respond based solely upon text features. Finally, the teacher should ask students what else they can determine about the text from its features.