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 6. Read critically to evaluate informational text

Objective b. Analyze the extent to which the structure and text features clarify the purpose and the information


The teacher will provide students with an informational text, which has a variety of text features. Students will read the text and with teacher assistance determine the author's purpose. Next students should be placed in small groups where they will analyze each text feature's effectiveness in supporting the author's purpose. Students should be able to justify their proposed degree of effectiveness with text support. In general class discussion, each student group will share its findings. Finally the class will list the text features from the highest degree of effectiveness to the lowest degree of effectiveness in supporting the author's purpose.


The teacher will provide students with an informational passage from which all text features have been removed. Students will read the text and with teacher guidance and using only the organizational pattern of the text determine the type of text, its main idea, and purpose. Next, students should be placed in small groups. Each group should determine a single text feature that could be added to the text, which would assist a reader in understanding its content. If possible, students could actually create the text feature. Each group should report the text feature they would add and explain how it would assist a reader. Finally, the teacher should share the passage with its original text features intact so students can judge if the original or their amended passage is most helpful to a reader.


Teacher and students should read an informational passage with a variety of text features and determine together the main idea of the passage. Next teacher and students should focus on the text features of the passage and cooperatively complete a chart like the given sample. Each text feature should be reviewed and determination made about its effectiveness as it exists, complete removal, or adjustment to increase its effectiveness.

Text FeatureKeep/Delete/ChangeHow does this make the text easier to understand?

As an extension, students may want to create a text feature that is not present and share it with the class to explain its effectiveness. Teacher Note: Once this activity has been modeled, student should be able to work successfully in an independent mode.


The teacher will divide the class into four groups where each group will have the task to focus on print features, graphic aids, informational aids, or organizational aids of an assigned informational passage. As each passage rotates among the groups, each group will focus only on its assigned text feature. They will determine the degree of its effectiveness and whether changing the feature could increase its effectiveness. Once the rotation is complete, as each passage is shared with the whole class, each group will share its judgment of the passage's text features.

Resources for Objective 2.A.6.b:
LESSON SEEDS | Sample Assessments | Public Release Items |