It starts with a very interesting informational text about the many different jobs that dogs do in our society. The text contains a lot of fascinating information and wonderful photographs. The body paragraphs have topic sentences which students must identify and then state the main (central) ideas of the paragraphs in their own words. Vocabulary activity requires defining words based on context clues within the text. Students also do a critical thinking activity classifying dogs, based on descriptions, into categories of working dogs. Reading through an abundance of small chunks of informational text, students must make inferences to determine what specific type of working dog is being described.
You could also have the students summarize the informational text. They could even make a web of central ideas and details. The text lends itself well to both of these activities.
It is written at approximately a 9th grade reading level. But, I believe it would capture middle school students' attention and challenge them.
All activities are aligned to Common Core. If I were a student, I would prefer this interesting expository text because it is not boring!
Includes a thorough lesson plan and answer key.
Common Core Standards:
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.5 Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.6 Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.