Informational Text: 3 Scaffolded Activities for Any Nonfiction Article

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24 task cards and 6 pages
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Looking for best instructional practices to use with informational or nonfiction texts? Meeting rigorous RI standards can be challenging when students are frustrated or disengaged. Secondary teachers can scaffold the comprehension process to help students feel confident and achieve success.

This teaching resource works with any nonfiction or informational text you select for your students. It is appropriate for periodicals, exemplar texts, speeches, and informational chapter book excerpts. Use the exercises as test prep, as part of your reading unit, as a complementary activity with a nonfiction paired text, as station activities, and more.

This nonfiction article resource contains the following activities for any nonfiction article informational text:

1. A close reading and annotation exercise. It features two options. One asks students to annotate in the margins of the text or with sticky notes. The other asks students to respond by writing their answers on the page provided. Choose the option that works best for you, depending on whether you have access to printed texts that students can mark on. This initial activity asks students to read the text more than one time and is intended to help them with basic comprehension.

2. A dice activity. This exercise can be completed individually, with pairs, or with small groups. Students will need one dice to play. The questions focus on reading comprehension and analysis at varying depth of knowledge levels. It encourages students to comb through the text again, reflecting on what they understand and enhancing their original thoughts.

3. 24 task cards that function as discussion or writing prompts. An answer sheet is provided, but students can also choose to express their thoughts or type them. These task cards focus on more analytical, higher-order thinking about the text. Some questions require creativity. All require critical thinking. Teachers may choose a handful to use as a carousel or collaborative activity, or you may decide to use all of them.

This teaching tool contains three, scaffolded activities for any nonfiction article, not the informational texts and nonfiction articles themselves. Newsela, Common Lit, the New York Times Upfront, or the texts suggested as Common Core exemplars are a great place to start.

Due to the complexity of the questions, these activities are recommended for high school or advanced junior high students. Each exercise takes approximately one 45-minute class period to complete.

NOTE: This resource is also included in a larger bundle, Reading Literature and Informational Texts Graphic Organizer Activity Bundle.

If you find this product useful, make sure to check out these similar reading comprehension tools:

Analyzing Texts Bundle

Summarizing Nonfiction Texts Mini-Unit

Reading Comprehension Task Cards

Body Farms Nonfiction Podcast Listening Guide

And more here!

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Total Pages
24 task cards and 6 pages
Answer Key
Does not apply
Teaching Duration
3 days
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text.
Analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories).
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts.
Analyze in detail the structure of a specific paragraph in a text, including the role of particular sentences in developing and refining a key concept.


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