EL Support Lesson

Adjectives in Informational Texts

Describe the facts! This lesson teaches your ELs to identify adjectives and their important role as key details in informational texts. Use it as a stand-alone lesson or as support to the lesson Summarizing Nonfiction Texts.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the What's the Big Idea? Summarizing Nonfiction Texts lesson plan.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the What's the Big Idea? Summarizing Nonfiction Texts lesson plan.

Students will be able to write three- to four-sentence summaries on nonfiction texts.


Students will be able to identify key details in informational texts with adjectives using a graphic organizer.

(4 minutes)
  • Remind students of the definition of nonfiction texts and specifically lead them to notice a type of nonfiction: informational texts. Tell students that informational texts are meant to inform or educate the reader about something.
  • Show a few examples of informational texts such as books or articles. Ask students to turn to a partner and name two other topics that would work well as informational texts (e.g., airplanes, volcanos, otters, etc.). Invite them to contribute to a list of informational text topics on a piece of chart paper. Leave this chart paper up to use later in the class.
  • Have a student read aloud the language objective to the class.
(10 minutes)
  • Tell students that they will first learn some key terms related to the lesson.
  • Show students the vocabulary cards. Read each term and its definition aloud to students.
  • Display a blank Frayer Model on the document camera and model to students how you fill out each section for the term "informational text." Use the information and examples you presented in the introduction.
  • Divide students into three groups and assign them each one of the remaining vocabulary words. Hand out a blank Frayer Model to each student. Instruct them to work together to complete the model on their assigned word.
  • Have a representative from each group briefly present the information from their model to the whole class. Display one completed Frayer Model for each vocabulary term for students to refer to for the remainder of the lesson.
(10 minutes)
  • Tell students that adjectives are descriptive words that give us more information about a noun. Explain that adjectives can describe the size, shape, color, or quality of something.
  • Hand out and display a copy of the Identifying Common Adjectives worksheet to each student.
  • Read the teaching box and example. Define any unfamiliar words for the students in their home language (L1) and English (L2).
  • Elaborate that in informational nonfiction texts, adjectives are important to help the reader have a clear picture of the noun (person, place, thing, animal, or idea) the author is writing about. By including important adjectives that describe the noun, we can develop a more specific and detailed image of the noun as we read about it.
  • Demonstrate how to identify the adjective in Part 1 of the worksheet. Have students complete the rest of Part 1 independently.
  • Repeat this process (i.e., read directions, model one problem, and assign the remaining sentences) for Part 2 and Part 3.
  • Review students' answers as a whole class and clarify any misunderstandings or mistakes.
(10 minutes)
  • Distribute the Adjectives as Key Details worksheet and a highlighter to students. Read the teaching box and explain that adjectives help provide key details in informational text. Without these key details, our understanding of the information would be limited or incomplete.
  • Model how to complete the first row of the graphic organizer by reading aloud the paragraph, highlighting adjectives as key details, and writing them in the column provided.
  • Assign students into partnerships and have them complete the rest of the graphic organizer.
  • Circulate the room to offer assistance as needed.


  • Pair beginning ELs with more advanced ELs for any partner work.
  • Provide a partially completed graphic organizer for beginning ELs to complete.
  • Allow students to work with a partner for independent work, such as in the sentence level focus section.


  • Have advanced ELs repeat and rephrase directions or key learning points in the lesson.
  • Provide bilingual resources, such as glossaries and dictionaries, for students to use to look up unfamiliar words.
  • Challenge advanced ELs to verbally determine whether the adjectives they found in the index card for their Formative Assessment describe size, color, shape or quality of the noun.
(3 minutes)
  • Using the student-generated list of informational text topics that was created earlier, have students choose one topic to write two sentences about.
  • Hand out an index card to each student. Tell them to write the topic they chose (e.g., airplanes) and two sentences about the topic. Emphasize the importance of including an adjective in their sentences (e.g., "Airplanes are giant machines. They have two powerful engines.")
  • Collect and shuffle the cards, redistribute them to students, and tell them to circle the adjective(s) their friends wrote.
(3 minutes)
  • Reiterate the goal of today's lesson. Remind students that adjectives are an important part of speech in English and they should master how to identify them when they read so that they can later include them in their own writing.
  • Invite a few students to read aloud their classmates' sentences and point out the adjectives used.

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