EL Support Lesson

Informational Text: Close Reading

Use a student-friendly glossary and sentence frames to learn about wild weather! Scaffolds will help your students answer text-dependent questions. This lesson can be paired with the main Informational Text: Close Reading lesson.
This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Informational Text: Close Reading lesson plan.
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This lesson can be used as a pre-lesson for the Informational Text: Close Reading lesson plan.

Students will be able to answer text-based questions about informational passages.


Students will be able to answer text-based questions about an informational passage with conjunctions using sentence frames.

(3 minutes)
  • Ask ELs to turn and talk to their partner, discussing the following question: "How do you find important information in a text?" (Note: integrate ELs L1 when appropriate.)
  • Ask partners to write one reading strategy on their whiteboard.
  • Have one partner hold up the whiteboard, while the other partner reads aloud the idea when called on.
  • Emphasize the following two reading strategies:
    • understanding the meaning of key vocabulary words
    • paying attention to important details
  • Tell the class that today they are going to work together to answer questions about informative reading passages using these two reading strategies.
(10 minutes)
  • Show ELs a visual of a tornado and ask students to share what they know about this image in small groups. Provide the sentence starters: "I know that this image is a ____ because..." or "I think this image is a ____ because..."
  • Show students the Answering Questions About Wild, Wild Weather worksheet and tell them that they're going to answer text dependent questions about tornados and waterspouts.
  • Remind ELs that they must first understand the key vocabulary in a passage before they can answer questions about that text.
  • Hand out an Answering Questions About Wild, Wild Weather worksheet to each student.
  • Read through the passage, using the document camera to model how to pause and highlight key vocabulary words (extreme, weather, tornado, waterspout, air, severe, weak, common, damage, dangerous).
  • Provide student-friendly definitons in English and in L1.
  • Call on different students to read each definition aloud.
  • Point out visuals on the worksheet to reinforce some of the key vocabulary.
  • Tell students that they will use this glossary when they reread this passage.
(10 minutes)
  • Tell ELs that there's a certain kind of word, called a conjunction, that is often used when readers write about important details from a text.
  • Draw four columns on the board and write the following conjunctions in the columns: "and," "or," "but," and "because."
  • Write an example sentence under each conjunction word, underlining the conjunction and circling any commas preceding a conjunction. (Note: make sure your example sentences include an explanation about something.)
    • Example sentence for the conjunction "and": "We push our chairs in and we stand quietly before recess."
    • Example sentence for the conjunction "but": "We are allowed to stay in our classroom during recess, but we have to take a five-minute break from work."
  • Tell students that you circled the commas because commas often appear before a conjunction—but not always.
  • Hand out the worksheet Using Conjunctions to Connect Facts and have ELs complete the worksheet with a partner.
  • Call on different students to share their answer for each question while writing in the conjunctions on the teacher copy. (Note: use a document camera.)
  • Complete the first two questions in Part 2 together, modeling sentences that include "and" and "or." (i.e., "We line up outside of the classroom and walk into the class quietly.")
  • Have students complete Part 2 independently and then share their sentences with their elbow partner.
  • Transition into the next part of the lesson by telling students that they'll be using these conjunctions when they answer questions about the "wild, wild weather."
(10 minutes)
  • Remind ELs that when they're reading a passage for specific information, it's important to read the text-dependent questions first. Show students the visual of a magnifying glass, reinforcing the idea that previewing the questions allows readers to focus in on the important details.
  • Show students the growth mindset visual and remind them that reading and writing about dense text can feel really challenging, but they're building their reading comprehension muscles (pointing to your brain) with all of that hard work.
  • Ask ELs to turn to a partner and discuss how they would answer the following question (without looking at the worksheet): "How often does extreme weather affect people?"
  • Call on a few students to share a reason that this question felt challenging for them.
  • Refer to the question part of the worksheet using the document camera, and show them how selected conjunctions and sentence frames will help them focus on important details and help them write answers in a clear way.
  • Have ELs work with a partner as they complete the worksheet Answering Questions About Wild, Wild Weather.
  • Review the worksheet with students, calling on non-volunteers to share their answers. Have other students rephrase and share whether they agree or disagree.


  • Encourage students to refer to their Vocabulary Cards in all their pairs and whole group responses. Also, allow ELs to give their answers in their home language (L1) or their new language (L2).
  • Pair students strategically so they're with sympathetic partners who will read the text to them first before they read it themselves.
  • Provide sentence frames from the beginning of the lesson and write your oral responses with the sentence frames as an example for them to follow and reread.


  • Ask students to share their ideas first and to provide language support to Beginning ELs that know their same L1.
  • Have them rephrase key terms and ideas from the teacher.
  • Ask them to provide sentence frames or stems students can use in their discussions.
(5 minutes)
  • Ask students to write one word or phrase on their whiteboards for the following tasks:
    • Name one conjunction.
    • What is the name of this type of weather? (Show an image of a tornado.)
    • What is one vocabulary word that describes a tornado?
(2 minutes)
  • Ask ELs to turn to their elbow partner and discuss how they will use conjunction words as they write in the future.
  • Remind ELs that when they read informative texts, they'll want to make sure they pay attention to the key vocabulary, such as the words related to tornadoes, in order to understand the important details in the text.

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