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Utah Education Network: Analyzing Informational Text

Details

Activity Description

 

Screenshot of Utah Education Network - Analyzing Informational Text website
Source: Analyzing Informational Text Lesson Plan (License: Protected by Copyright (c) [i.e. screenshot])
 
In this activity, students use the Informational Text Analysis Tool to deconstruct the essential elements of informational text. The suggested text is a character analysis of Amelia Earhart by Nellie Simmons Meier written in 1931; however, teachers may select the text of their choice.

Preparation

This activity is taken from the Utah Education Network. Detailed lesson plans and resources can be found on their website.

  1. Download the IInformational Text Analysis Tool Worksheet (.doc) and make copies. You will find the link to this document under Instructional Procedures on the page.
  2. Select and make copies (unless you will have them reading online in a computer lab) of a complex informational text (see Library of Congress Web site - Manuscript Division ) for students to read and to annotate. For this activity, we have chosen a text on Amelia Earhart . You may choose another if this does not meet your educational objectives.
  3. Review the selected text.
  4. Students need to have an understanding of the basic elements of textual analysis, such as how to determine a text's claim or central idea, how to cite textual evidence, how to determine purpose and audience, and how to craft good questions. Review as necessary.

How-To

  1. Distribute copies of the Informational Text Analysis Tool worksheet and the reading on Amelia Earhart (unless you will have them reading online in a lab).
  2. Introduce the article and explain the process for analyzing informational text (see the Informational Text Analysis Tool document).
  3. Review the process of finding central ideas, evidence, and determining audience and purpose.
  4. Model for the students the first time, using a projector or a document camera. Just open the Word document on your projector connected computer.
  5. Read aloud the text to the students. Then ask them to re-read the text and highlight sections in the text that respond to the questions on the Analysis Tool.
  6. After pairing the students, instruct them to share the answers they have written down, paying particular attention to the questions each has crafted.
  7. The pairs will answer each other's questions and search for evidence to back up their positions.
  8. Walk around while students are working and check for understanding. If the same question is answered incorrectly by a number of students, then stop, and re-teach (formative assessment).
  9. Debrief with the whole class to determine unanswered questions and overall comprehension of the text.

(Instructions above come from the Utah Education Network Web lesson plan. )

Teacher Tips

  • Select documents in varying content areas such as history and science. To do this, select the New Search link at the top of the Amelia Earhart reading or browse the Library of Congress' American Memory index of Words and Deeds in American History for more documents to read.
  • To estimate the reading level of any document or reading, use MS Word's Spelling & Grammar Readability Statistics. Just copy and paste the text from a site into a new document, then go to Review > Spelling & Grammar. when the spelling has been checked and corrected, you will see a dialog box with the Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level under the Readability section.

More Ways

  • The Utah Education Network has numerous well-developed lesson plans on topics such as educational technology, fine arts, financial literacy, health education, language arts, math, science, social studies, workplace soft skills, keyboarding, family & consumer sciences, and other subjects. Browse to find what you need for other lessons and activities.

Program Areas

  • ASE: High School Equivalency Preparation
  • ABE: Adult Basic Education

Levels

  • All Levels

Lesson Plan

Introduction

A detailed Lesson Plan can be found on the Utah Education Network website

  1. Distribute copies of the Informational Text Analysis Tool worksheet and the selected reading. You may want to use one reading to model and another for practice.
  2. Introduce the article and explain the process for analyzing informational text (see the Informational Text Analysis Tool document). Be sure to emphasize the importance of being able to find the central idea, evidence and determining the audience and purpose for the high school equivalency test.
  3. Review the process of finding central ideas, evidence, and determining audience and purpose.
  4.  
Presentation
  1. Model for the students the first time, using a projector or a document camera. 
  2. Read aloud the text to the students. Then ask them to re-read the text and highlight sections in the text that respond to the questions on the Analysis Tool.
Practice
Engagement
  1. After pairing the students, instruct them to share the answers they have written down, paying particular attention to the questions each has crafted.
  2. In pairs, students will answer each other's questions and search for evidence to back up their positions.

 

Evaluation
Enhancement
  1. Walk around while students are working and check for understanding. If the same question is answered incorrectly by a number of students, then stop, and re-teach (formative assessment).
  2. Debrief with the whole class to determine unanswered questions and overall comprehension of the text.
Application
Extension

1. Once again discuss the high school equivalency exam and how important it is to be able to identify the main idea of an informational text.

Subjects

  • Language Arts - Reading
    • Analysis
    • Comprehension
    • Inference and Interpretation
    • Synthesis and Generalization
  • Reasoning Through Language Arts
    • Nonfiction Texts

Standards

  • Reading
    • CCR Anchor 1 - Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
    • CCR Anchor 2 - Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
    • CCR Anchor 4 - Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
    • CCR Anchor 6 - Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
  • Speaking and Listening
    • CCR Anchor 1 - Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

Tags

Reading, consumer science, educational technology, financial literacy, fine arts, health education, informational, keyboarding, language, language arts, lesson plans, science, social studies, soft skills, text, workplace soft skills, analyze, analyzing, arts, career, comprehension

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OTAN activities are funded by contract CN220124 from the Adult Education Office, in the Career & College Transition Division, California Department of Education, with funds provided through Federal P.L., 105-220, Section 223. However, OTAN content does not necessarily reflect the position of that department or the U.S. Department of Education.