ABSTRACT

The Common Core State Standards and revised state standards require students read informational texts as well as narrative texts. Comprehending informational texts may be difficult because the information is dense and the technical vocabulary unfamiliar to readers. Unique skills needed to comprehend informational texts include the following: determining text structure (e.g., sequencing, chronological, descriptive, problem/solution, compare/contrast, persuasive, classifying, or hierarchy), understanding author’s purpose, checking author’s credentials, understanding domain-specific vocabulary, visualizing concepts, using context clues, identifying biases and prejudices, identifying main idea with supporting details, synthesizing information from traditional and digital texts, and evaluating the information with their own background knowledge. Graphic science and social studies informational text help reluctant and struggling readers grasp complex information. The “Intervention” section describes activities to increase all these skills. Some activities are for younger students, while others are for older students. Also included in this chapter are sections on using informational texts with English learners and ways to engage all students in developing critical literacy skills when reading informational traditional texts and internet sources. Types of formal and informal assessments are listed and explained. The“Technology” section describes apps and websites teacher can use in the classroom. The chapter begins and ends with two different classroom scenarios with guiding and reflective questions that can be used for classroom discussions.