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 3. Use elements of narrative texts to facilitate understanding

Objective a. Identify and distinguish among types of narrative texts such as stories, folk tales, realistic fiction, historical fiction, fables, fairy tales, fantasy, and biographies


The teacher will place students in small groups and provide each group with a different type of narrative text. Students will read the text and complete a graphic organizer to identify characteristics of the text.

(Sample Organizer)

Title and Author  
Plot: Beginning  
Plot: Middle  
Plot: End  
Narrative Type  

In class discussion each group will present its findings using text support to substantiate its responses. Teacher Note: Prior instruction in the various narrative types will occur before students engage in this procedure.


Before reading a narrative text, students will preview the text to predict its genre. After reading the text students will confirm or refute their predictions by listing the characteristics of their text and comparing them to a list of the characteristics of the predicted genre. This activity may be extended by placing students in small groups where each student reads the same text and as a group students predict and check their predictions. Different types of narrative text may circulate among the groups as students follow the same procedures.


The teacher will provide small groups of students with envelopes containing different types of narrative texts and genre labels. Within the small groups students will work with a partner, read the texts, and match the genre label to the type of text. After the matching is complete, students will pull evidence from each passage to justify their decision. A student presenter from each group will share their findings with the class. Class members should be encouraged to challenge any finding they find questionable.


Prior to the reading of a portion of a narrative text, the teacher will have labeled 4 areas of the classroom with 4 different genres. Then the teacher will read aloud to the class that portion of the narrative text. After reading is complete and based upon his/her belief, each student in the class must position him/herself in one of the 4 areas of the classroom. There that student and others who join that group must prepare an argument justifying how the text meets the criteria of that particular genre. After listening to each group present its argument, students will have a last opportunity to stay in place or reposition themselves before the teacher reveals the type of narrative text. The teacher should review with the class those elements that mark that text as an example of that genre.

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