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 g. Analyze the effect of elements of style on meaning


Teachers should collect informational passages that demonstrate a variety of writing styles. The collection should include samples of text that use formal/informal language, simple, disconnected sentences or long, complex ones, sentence fragments, a variety of tones, a consistent use of language in a particular manner, etc… The teacher should model the reading of an informational passage stopping to indicate specific uses of language. Teacher and students should discuss how well the way the author uses language fits the topic, helps a reader construct meaning, is a hindrance to constructing meaning, helps relay the author's attitude toward the subject etc…This modeling and discussion should be exercised multiple times since the styles of informational passages can differ widely. Only after a variety of texts have been modeled should students work independently of the teacher. Then, ideally, each student should have a disposable copy of the text which he/she can highlight/mark for style elements and then make judgments about their use.


Provide students with individual copies of "Sharebots" a grade 8 informational passage available through the online Toolkit. First have students read the passage silently. Next, instruct students that this author consistently uses sentence construction that includes appositives, dashes, and the words like, just as, and such as to provide explanatory information to help a reader frame information about robots and put ideas into terms that are more accessible to a reader. Following this explanation, students should reread "Sharebots" and highlight those particular sentence portions where these explanations occur. Next, both the teacher and students should focus on each example of sentence construction and determine how that construction specifically assists a reader in constructing meaning from the text.