Close Reading of Informational Text

Common Core State Standards
for English Language Arts
Grades K-3
Module #7
Goals for Module 7
• Teachers will deepen their understanding of
the first three standards in Reading for
Informational Text.
• Teachers will learn activities for teaching
students necessary skills for meeting these
Reading Standards for Informational
Text: Key Ideas and Details
Connect to the Standards:
Read through your copy of the Common
Core State Standards. Highlight the first
three standards for Reading for
Informational Text.
Main Topics and Key Details
The ability to organize information into main topics and
key details is a critical comprehension skill. What does
this look like?
• Given a main topic, name the associated
key details.
• Given key details, name the main topic.
When we can perform these tasks, we are
better able to summarize.
Ask and Answer (Teacher Asks)
In this highly scaffolded activity, the teacher:
• Articulates the main idea to guide the construction of textdependent questions.
• Has prepared both literal and thinking questions that require
students to state answers and support their answers using the text.
• Asks questions at critical junctures during reading.
• Guides students into the text for answers.
Teacher knows
critical main concept
Teacher directs students to
details and evidence in the text
Ask and Answer (Teacher Asks) (cont)
Directions: Work with a small group.
Read the informational text that you brought with you.
Put the main topic of the passage into words.
Develop thinking questions related to the main topic
Decide where in the text you will stop and ask the questions.
– What will you do when a student cannot or does
not answer the question?
– How and when do we prompt and support?
Asking and Answering Question After
Reading (Student Asks)
Asking questions is a valuable student skill. How do we teach students
to ask questions?
• Through lots of practice with many types of texts.
• By modeling the process for students using vocabulary from the
• By providing question stems (if students need support):
– Why is the eagle…?
– Who thought…?
– What does the eagle…?
– Where do eagles…?
• By assigning students to ask questions: “Ask your friends a question
about the role the patriots had in naming the eagle as the national
Analyze the Standard
The second standard for Reading for Informational Text
asks the student to identify the main topic and key
• We reverse the process and ask students to identify
the main topic.
Teacher provides
access to the text
and direction
Students provide the
main topic
Student Activity:
Stating a Main Topic (Pictures)
Pictures can help us teach students to name the main topic.
• Show students a picture with a lot of detail and a theme
(e.g., “Unusual Animal Friends” or a farm, playground, or zoo)
• Say, “Tell me what this picture is about.”
• If students want to focus on details in the picture, redirect
them to the main topic of the picture: “Yes, I see a ferret and
a hedgehog, but if we think of these animals as pets, how
would you categorize them?”
Two-Column Notes
• Choose an informational text.
• Create a two-column notes graphic on the whiteboard or chart
• Read the title with the students (For K-1 students, show the cover
and a few pictures in the text the illustrate the main topic).
• Have students discuss possible main topics for the book by asking,
“What do you think this book will be about?” Model main topic
answer, if needed.
– “Yes, the book will talk about stars and stripes in the American
flag, but the big idea—what we will mostly read about—is the
history of the American flag.”
Two-Column Notes (cont)
• Once the students name the main topic, write it at
the top of the two-column notes.
• To fill in the two-column notes:
– For grades 2-3, scaffold the process by providing
the topic for each paragraph on the left and
having students decide what details in the
paragraph should go on the right side.
– For grades K-1, write the main topic on the left
side, and write key details on the right side.
Two-Column Notes (Grades K-1)
Main Topic
Animals that live in
Key Details
Two-Column Notes (Grades 2-3)
Topic: History of the American Flag
What the first flag in
– 13 rows of red and white
1776 looked like
– Circle with 13 stars on blue
in left corner
How the flag changed
over time
– A star was added for each
– 13 stripes stayed the same
– Hawaii was the last star
Analyze the Standard
The third standard for Reading for Informational Text
asks students to make connections as they read a text.
Make a
Student Activity (Grades K-1) Connection!
• Choose an informational text.
• Prepare for reading by looking for connections students can
make between people, events, or ideas.
• Decide where to stop and say, “Connection!” to provide
prompting and support.
– “Connection! I am thinking about a connection
between our school and the school we are reading
about in Mexico. How are they the same?”
Student Activity (Grades 2-3) List and Connect
• Choose text that presents information along a timeline.
• As students listen to or read the material themselves, have them write the
events of the main idea on separate cards.
• Have students sequence the events and explain why each item fits into the
sequence where it is placed.
• Ask questions that help students put into words the connections between
– What had to happen before the flag was raised on July 1, 1776? Why?
– What had to happen before a star was added for each state?
– What happened after the flag had fifteen stripes? Why?
Making Connections
What do we do if students cannot make a connection?
• Model it. Show students how to think through it
to provide an answer.
• Ask students to repeat the connection we make.
• Ask for another connection: “I am thinking
of a connection between adding states
and a flag with fifteen stripes. Can you
guess what I am thinking?”
Informational texts can be difficult for our
students to understand. We need to carefully
plan instruction to include activities that help
our students comprehend informational texts.

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