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

Objective b. Identify and use words and phrases associated with common organizational patterns such as words that show chronology (first, second, third), description (above, beneath, next to, beside), cause and effect (because, as a result), sequence (next, then, finally)


The teacherwill provide students with an informational text that is chronological and two completed graphic organizers. One organizer will match the text; the other will not. Students should read the text and then select the organizer that matches the organization of the text. In discussion students should indicate the signal or transition words from the text that helped them determine the correct graphic organizer, such as first, second, third, etc. Ultimately, students will be able to self-select an organizer for any informational text that they read.


The teacher will rotate among small groups of students packets of informational texts where signal or transition words and phrases have been highlighted or underlined. Each packet will contain multiple copies of the same text. Using the highlighted signal or transition words as guidelines, the groups of students will determine the organizational pattern of the text. Rotations will continue until all groups have worked with each of the packets. Students will discuss how they used signal words to determine text organization.