School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 4

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 f. Identify and explain the contributions of text features to meaning


The teacherwill provide students with an informational text with multiple and varied text features where the main idea has been identified. Students will read the text, locate the text features, determine whether they support the main idea of the text, and explain how those selected features support the main idea of the text.


The teacher will divide the class into four groups. The members of each group will become specialists on one text feature—print, graphic, informational, and organizational. The teacher will rotate a series of folders or envelopes containing informational texts with multiple and varied text features. As the folders rotate among the groups, students will read the text and focus only on their "special" text feature, recording the type of information it yields and the importance of that information to understanding the text. After the rotation is complete, the teacher will conduct a review of each text. The teacher will select a text and four students, one from each "specialty" group who will explain how that text feature contributes to comprehension of the text.


Students will read an informational text which has multiple and varied text features but does not have illustrations. The teacher will provide students with multiple illustrations. Students will select a single illustration that enhances the text and existing text features. Next students will explain how the inclusion of that illustration fits the text, citing portions of text as support, to assist a reader in comprehension of the text.


The teacher will model a think-aloud strategy to choose the most useful manual or set of directions to complete a specific task. For example, the teacher may have three computer manuals and compare the text features of each. He/she will explain why one manual is more useful than the others. The students will then read other informational texts provided by the teacher, and follow the same procedure with a partner or in a small group. As a follow up activity students could follow a set of the directions that they have studied and determine whether their assumptions about usefulness were correct. Students could also work in pairs or small groups to clarify directions that are confusing and share with their classmates how they could make the directions more meaningful/purposeful.