School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 8

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 2. Analyze text features to facilitate and extend understanding of informational texts

Objective c. Analyze informational aids that contribute to meaning


Students will be given the opportunity to read a teacher selected text from a science or social science/history book where the teacher will have omitted all informational aids such as labels, captions, numbered steps, etc. from the text leaving space where the omissions have occurred. The missing informational aids should be copied onto small pieces of paper and placed in a folder or envelope. In small groups, students will assemble either the science or the social studies/history text. A class discussion will provide students the opportunity to discuss the importance of informational aids to gain meaning.


The teacher will prepare two presentations of the same informational text so that one text has a variety of informational aids such as glossed words, boxed text, transition words, etc. while the other text will have no informational aids. Students will read the text without informational aids and then read the text with informational aids. In a teacher-led discussion, students will explain how the informational aids contribute to meaning, detailing the information provided by the informational aids that does not exist in the other text. Another strategy would require students to generate informational aids for the text without the informational aids and then to compare their text with the original text.


The teacher should place students in small groups. Provide each group a different but specific purpose for an informational reading assignment. Provide each group with a series of text introductions or overviews. Students should read each of the overviews and reach a joint decision about which text/s would best serve their reading purpose. Each group will share its findings with the remainder of the class detailing the information in the text introduction or the overview that caused them to select that text. As a group students and teacher will discuss the purpose of the overview and in which text/s this seems to occur.


The teacher will provide students with an informational text that contains multiple captioned pictures or illustrations. Students should read the text. Next students should read the captions and categorize them as essential or additional information based upon their reading of the text. Finally students should organize those same captions from least to most helpful in helping to create meaning from the text.