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 e. Analyze additional information that would clarify or strengthen the author's argument or viewpoint


The teacher will provide students with an informational text. Both teacher and students will read the text, and the teacher will state the main idea of the text for students. Next, the teacher will indicate a portion of the text and offer students some choices of information that might help a reader better understand that portion of the text. The teacher and student will discuss the choices and decide upon the piece of information that would most help a reader and why that piece would be more helpful than the other choices. With repeated practices, students should ultimately be able to identify the main idea themselves and determine without a set of choices what information would clarify a student's understanding.


The teacher will provide students with an informational passage about a topic which while appropriate is not a familiar one. The teacher and students should read the passage together the first time, and the teacher should identify the main idea for the students. Next, students should reread the passage and use sticky notes to mark portions of the passage about which there is not full understanding. From a list of informational aids provided by the teacher, students must select one and explain how adding this aid to the text would help a reader's understanding. Ultimately, a student should be able to identify the main idea him/herself and determine without the use of a list the information most likely to help a reader understand the text.


The teacher will provide students an informational text from which all informational aids have been removed. Students will be directed to read the text and as they read record any questions they have about the content of the text. Next, the teacher should provide students with the original text, which contains the informational aids. Then students should read the original version to determine if the informational aids answered their questions. If their questions were answered, students should be able to discuss the importance of informational aids to their understanding of a text. If their questions were not answered, students should suggest additional aids that would enhance their understanding of the text.


After reading an informational selection, students will complete a chart like the one below.

TopicInformation LearnedQuestions I Still Have

In small groups, students will discuss their chart and compile a chart of the information that would have been helpful in clarifying the text. Each of these charts should be displayed in the room, and students can take a "gallery walk" to read each group's suggestions and place a check mark beside those with which they agree. A final class discussion will consolidate those informational pieces that if added to the text would assist a reader's understanding.

Resources for Objective 2.A.6.e:
LESSON SEEDS | Sample Assessments |