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 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

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

Objective c. Identify and explain how informational aids such as introductions and overviews, materials lists, timelines, captions, glossed words, labels, numbered steps, bulleted lists, footnoted words, pronunciation keys, transition words, end notes, works cited, other information aids encountered in informational texts contribute to meaning


After teaching the form and organization of footnotes, the teacher will provide students with a literary text where footnoted words and phrases are underlined but actual footnotes have been removed. Students will read the text and then discuss the meaning of the text with their teacher who will record students' observations. Next, footnotes will be provided for the underlined words and phrases. Students will reread the text and, again, discuss the meaning of the text with their teacher who, again, will record students' observations. Students and teachers will compare both observations and discuss how the information provided by the footnotes enhanced their understanding of the text.


Prior to reading, the teacher will provide students with biographical information about the author. Next students will read a text written by that author. After reading the text, students will determine if any part of the author's life is evident in the text. The teacher will list student ideas. Students will select an idea from the list and explain the connection between the biography and the text.


The teacher will provide students with examples of literary text which contains captioned illustrations. Students will read the text and discuss how the captioned illustrations work with the text. Do the captions repeat information already in the text? Do the captions provide additional and necessary information? Do the captions provide additional but unnecessary information? The teacher will record student responses categorizing them as the discussion continues. To extend this activity, student may then suggest additional captioned illustrations that might assist their understanding of the text or removal of those that do not enhance a student's comprehension. Another extension could involve placing the captioned illustrations in an order that addresses their degree of assistance to a reader.


Students will read introductions to a variety of literary texts. Students and teacher will discuss in general terms why an author might choose to include an introduction as part of a literary work. The teacher will place students in small groups where each group is assigned the same literary text. Students will read the text, and in small groups, determine the purpose of the introduction. The possible purposes include interest engagement, foreshadowing, quotations, point of view, rhetorical questioning, or statement of opinion. Students will then discuss how reading an introduction and determining its purpose can become a pre-reading strategy.

Resources for Objective 3.A.2.c:
LESSON SEEDS | Advanced/G-T |