School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 7

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 4. Analyze important ideas and messages in informational texts

Objective e. Identify and explain information or ideas peripheral to the main idea or message


Provide students with an informational passage in which text not directly related to the main idea has been highlighted or underlined. Review with students. Brainstorm a list of reasons an author might include information not directly related to his/her main idea within a passage. Using that list, determine a reason for the highlighted portions. Provide students with a second informational passage. Have students work with a partner to highlight peripheral information and using the previously organized list, determine a purpose for the highlighted portions. Share conclusions with the entire class.


Provide students with an informational passage which contains multiple and diverse text features. Have students read the text to identify the main idea of the passage. Next students will identify those features and portions of text that are not related to the main idea. Using the following scale—least helpful, helpful, most helpful—students should determine a ranking for each feature or text portion not related to the main idea. Based on their judgments, students should suggest a revision of the passage by removing or moving text features or text.


Provide students with an envelope containing a text that has been cut into sections. Students should read the sections, and using organizational clues, create a whole text. From the whole text students should remove those sections not directly related to the main idea. Students should compare the 2 texts and determine why those sections not relating to the main idea were placed in the original text. This same activity can be accomplished through word processing.


Read a short grade appropriate informational passage. Provide students with the main idea of the passage. Create a double entry journal, one side with information related to the main idea and one side with information unrelated to the main idea. As students read, they will record information in both columns. Summarize the article using the information from the column with ideas related to the main idea.