Informational text is designed to communicate factual information rather than to tell a narrative. Much of our daily reading is linked with this genre. Common examples of informational text include: diaries, cookbooks, websites, informational picture storybooks, field guides, and how-to books.
Informational texts enable children to experience both language and content simultaneously, i.e., “read to learn.” The organization, graphic features, and writing styles found in informational texts are often content-specific. For example, the style of a biology textbook is quite different from a vacation guide.
An important reading comprehension skill is the ability to determine the relative importance and precise meanings of words, sentences, paragraphs, sections, and chapters. Readers must be able to make sense of the meanings of words within sentences and of sentences within paragraphs. When readers grasp the main ideas, they better understand the purpose of the details—which, in turn, further strengthens their understanding of those main ideas. Readers, then, link their understanding of individual paragraphs to comprehend sections and chapters.
To feel successful across content areas students must read widely and deeply from among a broad range of high-quality, increasingly challenging informational texts. Through extensive reading of biographies and autobiographies; books about history, social studies, science, and the arts; technical texts, including directions, forms, and information displayed in graphs, charts, or maps; and digital sources on a range of topics students gain knowledge in various informational areas as well as familiarity with various text structures and elements.
Continued work on reading comprehension standards will heighten student abilities to read more complex informational (nonfiction) text. Teachers use assessment and observation to determine if students are ready to progress to more challenging reading selections. Each child is unique, so be flexible, and trust your judgment as you assist your child. Together teachers and parents can help students make better choices when selecting books to read. Not all selections children read must be in the level suggested by assessment, these levels serve as a guideline. Sometimes high interest in a topic allows success in a more difficult text, and sometimes simple text is more inviting to our children, balance is important. Increasing the frequency of reading is the highest predictor of success at any grade level. Building a child’s confidence, through successful experiences with reading, will encourage that desire to read more.Developing successful, life-long readers is our ultimate goal.
How to Help Your Child At Home with the Informational Text Strand:
Ask questions about the topic being read (What does this book tell us about the solar system?)
Help your child dtermine the main idea of what they are reading, along with the details that support the main idea he/she stated
Have your child summarize the information on the topic they read about
Re-read favorite books to build fluency, comprehension and confidence
Discuss the informational topics you read about
Bring attention to bold words, captions and glossaries that will help locate key facts or information in a text
Discuss and compare the text features in different informational texts (graphics, charts, diagrams)
Read magazines and newspapers for information and entertainment - the pictures and current event topics offer a high-interest way for readers to attemp more difficult reading than they may in a book
Read directions on packages, forms, games and recipes - this helps children see that we read many things to gain information
Make regular visits to a public library to select informational (non-fiction) reading material
Strands are larger groups of related standards. The Strand Grade is a calculation of all the related standards. Click on the standard name below each strand to access the learning targets and proficiency scales for each strand's related standards.