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 3. Apply knowledge of organizational patterns of informational text to facilitate understanding and analysis

Objective b. Analyze the contribution of the organizational pattern to clarify or reinforce meaning and support the author's purpose and/or argument


Students should read an informational text where the organizational pattern has been marked and identified. Next students should read additional informational texts selected by the teacher where the organizational pattern has not been marked or identified, but where one text has the same organizational pattern as the marked text. Students should identify the text with the matching organizational pattern and, using the paired texts, identify what makes that organizational pattern an effective one for the content.


The teacher should provide students with a variety of informational texts featuring a variety of contents: history, science, current events, or cultural arts. Using signal words and phrases such as first, second, above, beneath, as a result of, next, finally, etc. the teacher and students should determine the organizational pattern of each text. Once the pattern has been established, students should explain how that pattern helps a reader understand the content of the text. For example, a history passage organized by cause/effect may help students better understand reasons for a particular historical event. This procedure can be accomplished with individual students, partners, or small groups.