School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 6

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 3. Use strategies to make meaning from text (during reading)

Objective i. Use a graphic organizer or another note-taking technique to record important ideas or information


The teacher needs to make certain that students use a graphic organizer that is appropriate to the selected text. To ensure this, the teacher should familiarize students with a range of organizers and then match the organizers with texts that are familiar to students. Once this introduction is complete, the teacher should place students in small groups or with partners. Each group or set of partners should be given a different text. The students should be instructed to read their assigned text and, at the conclusion of their reading, discuss with their partner or other students in the small group what type of organizer would be best to record the important ideas or details in the text.


A note-taking strategy that assists comprehension is a 2 column note-taking model. To introduce students to this type of note taking, the teacher should select an age-appropriate text and select certain sentences that are essential to understanding the text. These sentences from the text should be recorded on the left side of the note taking paper. As the teacher and students read the text, they should stop at these particular sentences so that students can record their reactions to these essential ideas or pieces of information.


This strategy helps students reflect on their reading as it progresses. To prepare students to read with this strategy, the teacher should familiarize students with the codes they will use as they read.

* means I already knew this!
+ means New information
! means Wow
?? means I don’t understand.

To model this for students, each student should paper clip a strip of paper down the margin of each page of assigned reading. The chart of codes should be easily visible to all students. As students read they should use the code when they read a piece of text that matches those criteria. At the end of the selection, students should meet with a partner to compare their coding. Students should be able to explain why they coded sections of the text as they did.