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Surrounded by Information: Using Informational Text in the Classroom. Brenda M. Tanner, Ed.D VSUP . Today we will:. Examine the Reading SOL’s related to nonfiction texts and make connections to the History/ Social Studies and the Science SOL’s;

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Presentation Transcript
today we will
Today we will:
  • Examine the Reading SOL’s related to nonfiction texts and make connections to the History/ Social Studies and the Science SOL’s;
  • Identify nonfiction text features and text structures;
  • Participate in a variety of activities that can be used in the classroom to help students develop skills in reading and understanding informational text;
  • Explore resources;
  • Network with participants;
  • Enjoy the day!
surrounded by information
Surrounded by information
  • You will be given 30 seconds to record the types of nonfiction text you have read today.
  • Think of all the times you have put your nonfiction reading skills to work.
  • READY --- SET---- GO!
preview and think
Preview and Think

You will be given a couple of minutes to preview a selected text.

Scan to see what you can learn.

Write a “I wonder” statement or a question.

Be prepared to discuss.

standards of learning the framework for instruction
Standards of Learning – the framework for instruction
  • Examine the Reading Standards of Learning for your level.
  • Focus on the Essential Knowledge, Skills, and Processes.
  • Underline or highlight the areas that you believe are the most challenging.
  • Be prepared to discuss.
In order to comprehend nonfiction text, students need to be able to read and understand vocabulary and use text features.

photographs illustrations

How might these photos help the reader understand the text?

Photographs Illustrations
  • Photos and illustrations help the reader picture the information.
  • They give additional information.
  • They work with the words and headings to help teach material.
  • Used to explain difficult sections.
reading visuals
Reading Visuals

Which of the text features are visuals?

In order for students to “read” visual features, they must understand what they are, how they are created, and why they are used (author’s purpose).


weather watch
Weather Watch

What is the purpose of this chart?

What is the message?

Charts, graphs, symbols, organizers

Where are they in your room and in your school?

who are you
Who Are You?

It is time to describe yourself.

You will have 10 minutes to write no more than one page about yourself.

You must include something from your past and you must include at least 3 text features in your autobiographical writing.

  • Find a person you do not know.
  • Exchange writings.
  • Read.
  • Take turns asking each other questions.
  • Be prepared to introduce your partner to someone else.

Your turn.

Think of how you could adapt/use these type of activities in your classroom to help students develop an understanding of text features and ways to approach the reading of informational text.

Be prepared to share.

identifying text structure
Identifying text structure
  • Nonfiction text are organized in a way to provide structure to the passage.
  • In order to comprehend text, students need to know that authors have different purposes for writing.
  • What might they be?
text structures
Text structures
  • Time/Chronological order
  • Cause and effect
  • Compare and contrast
  • Problem and solution
  • Sequence
  • Description
  • Directions
                  • THINK – PAIR -- SHARE

Where might you find these in your classroom or in the school?

Make a list.

graphic organizers
Graphic Organizers

Graphic organizers provide visual support to help students as they identify text structure and comprehend information text.

signal words
Signal words
  • First, next
  • For example
  • Either/or
  • Because
  • If/then
  • Before, after
  • To illustrate
  • Previously
  • Similar
  • Alike
  • Different
  • The answer
  • During the time
  • Think
  • Believe

Look for words that help you understand how information is organized. (SOL 2.9)

find the signal words and identify the text structure
Find the signal words and identify the text structure.

Many people have pet birds. A canary and a parrot are popular pets. Both birds live in cages. However, the cages are different sizes. The smaller canary has a small cage. The larger parrot has a big cage.

Many kids think cookies are the best snack. They want them every day after school. Many parents do not agree. They believe that fruit is a better snack. They buy apples for snacks.

Source: Text-Marking Lessons for Active Nonfiction Reading


Which text structure would be used for a story about these pictures?

What signal words would you use?

searching for signals
Searching for Signals

Use a text that you brought or a book that is available to search for signal words.

Use the handout to mark the words that you find. Be sure to include any new words you discover.

What text structure(s) did you find?

mix it up
Mix it Up!

Mix a pancake, stir a pancake

Pop it in a pan

Fry a pancake, toss a pancake

Catch it if you can!

Look for connections.

Think of other poems and stories

that could be connected torecipes or learning about food.

reading and writing recipes
Reading and Writing Recipes


2 cups sifted flour

3 tsp. baking powder

¼ cup sugar

1 tsp salt

2 eggs

2 cups milk

1/3 cup vegetable oil

  • Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
  • Beat eggs and stir in milk and oil.
  • Add dry ingredients; beat to a smooth batter.
  • Drop by tablespoons onto hot ungreased griddle.
  • Bake until underside is golden brown and bubbles appear over surface; turn.
  • Bake other side.
  • Serve with butter and syrup.

What else is needed?

I wonder….

try these recipes
Try These Recipes!


Get some vanilla, 5 cups of flour, 2 tsp. salt, 1 ½ tsp. baking powder or soda, 2 eggs.

Sift all the dry stuff.

Put in the eggs and 1 cup of milk.

Put four cups of batter in the frying pan; one in each corner.

Keep it in the pan until it has 21 bubbles around it.

Flip it over.

Wait until that side has 21 bubbles.

Take it out of the pan with a spatula. Put butter and syrup or anything you put on it and eat them.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Put 1 cup of milk in a bowl.

Put 5 chocolate chips in the bowl.

Put in 2 cups of water and 2 cups of flour.

Get the mixer and mix it up.

When it’s all gooey, make it into little balls and put them in the over for 1 hour.

Get them out and put them on a plate.

Save some for your grandmother.



make a list and check it twice
Make a List and Check it Twice

What makes a list a list?

Examine the list you have been given. Think about the author’s purpose in making the list.

Add 2 items to the list, name the list, and decide who was making the list and why.


Your turn.

Think of how you could adapt/use these type of activities in your classroom to help students develop essential knowledge, skills and processes for reading informational text.

Be prepared to share.

most i mportant w ords
Most Important Words

“To encourage what often becomes a lively debate (yes, even with struggling readers!), ask students to choose what they consider to be the most important word from the text they've just read. This strategy…forces students back into the text to consider what was the most important aspect of that text." (173-174)

KyleneBeers, When Kids Can't Read: What Teachers Can Do

wind power
Wind Power

Read the selection, Wind Power.

Identify the 6 words you believe are the most important.

Write one word on each sticky note.

word sort and wonders
Word Sort and Wonders
  • Examine the words in your envelope with a partner.
  • Sort the words. Find pairs of words that seem to go together.
  • Write a statement to link each pair of words together.
  • Review your words and write an I Wonder statement.
your turn
Your Turn

Select a text.

Preview the text, selecting 9 to 12 words and phrases that are key to comprehension.

Record the words on a chart. Be sure to make note of the title of your book.

Title Author

predicting and gathering information
Predicting and Gathering Information

1. Preview text.

2. Develop questions.

3. As you read text make note of questions you have.

4. When you finish, check to see if questions have been answered. If not, discuss where information might be found.

5. Write questions you have after reading.


Your turn.

Think of how you could adapt/use today’s activities in your classroom to help students develop essential knowledge, skills and processes for reading informational text.

Discuss your ideas with teachers in your grade level. Share other resources and ideas you might have.


Cell: 540-718-2617