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 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

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

Objective a. Identify and explain how organizational aids such as the title of the book, story, poem, or play, titles of chapters, subtitles, subheadings contribute to meaning


After reading a literary book with chapter titles, the teacher will place students in small groups and assign each group a different chapter in the text. The students will reread or review the contents of the chapter and complete the following chart.

Chapter Title
Why does the chapter have this title?
Does the chapter title support a theme? How?

To correctly complete the chart, students will record the chapter title. Next students will record text-based reasons for the chapter to have this title. Finally students will review the chapter's content in relation to its title and explain whether or not the chapter title supports a theme of the text. Each group will share its results with the remainder of the class. Teacher Note: With this activity teachers will use chapter titles, organizational aids, to conduct a review of the contents of the text and at the same time trace the development of a theme.


The teacher will display a literary text with the title covered. Students will use think/pair/share to determine the missing organizational aid. Students will share their responses and discuss the importance and purpose of the title. The teacher will display several titles of literary texts, and students will predict the stories' topics. Then students will work in small groups. Each group will be given portions of literary texts with the title missing and an envelope containing titles for those texts. Students will match the texts and titles. Students will share their responses and provide evidence from the text that supports their selections.


The teacher will select a play with multiple acts or scene changes and create a matrix for student responses.

(Sample Matrix)

  Scene One Scene Two Scene Three

While reading the play students will record on the matrix changes that occur that are noted by subheading. (Example: Scene 2…in the forest) After reading students will explain how the subheading signaled a change and assisted in their understanding of the play's action. Next, the teacher should select another play with multiple acts or scene changes and reformat the text eliminating all subheadings. Students will be given a portion of the reformatted text. After reading is complete, the teacher will divide the class into small groups who will analyze the text to determine where subheadings would assist in their understanding. Finally students will compare their reworked text to the original.


The teacher will provide students with a literary text and will assist them in locating its organizational aids. Findings will be recorded on an organizer

(Sample Organizer)

Organizational Aids  
Key Words and Phrases  

Once the organizer is complete, students and teacher will discuss its contents focusing on the organizational aids' contributions to constructing meaning from the text.

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