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- Students will be able to answer text-based questions about informational passages.
- Explain to students that being able to comprehend informational text is a very important skill not only in reading, but also in science, social studies, and math.
- Display the Explore Tornadoes! worksheet and point out its specific text features (e.g., vocabulary words and definitions, bold words, headings, diagrams, text boxes, timelines, captions, etc.).
- Give students the option to use their home language (L1) or new language (L2) in partners before sharing their answers aloud.
- Reinforce information about nonfiction text features by asking ELs to show you a thumbs up if they think that a word you say is an example of one.
- Example of thumbs-up words: "caption," "diagram," "heading," "title," "bold words."
- Example of non-thumbs-up words: "page number," "paragraph," "sentence."
- Remind students to refer to the student-friendly definitions and visuals for nonfiction text features throughout the lesson.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(10 minutes)
- Hand out a copy of the Explore Tornadoes! worksheet to each student.
- Read the text aloud, pausing to talk about how certain text features help you comprehend the information in the passage.
- Ask for volunteers to answer the questions at the end of the text.
- Front-load students with an understanding of key vocabulary in the first three paragraphs of the Explore Tornadoes! worksheet. Consider referring to a word wall for vocabulary words.
- Preview the comprehension questions, making sure that ELs understand what the question is asking.
- Have ELs discuss the vocabulary words and nonfiction text features in small groups, allowing them to converse in their home language if appropriate.
Guided Practice(10 minutes)
- Hand out a copy of the Explore Hurricanes! worksheet to each student.
- Arrange the students into pairs, and have them take turns reading the text and answering the questions.
- Walk around the room to monitor students and help when needed.
- Reduce linguistic load by assigning the first, second, and fourth paragraphs and cross out the second reading comprehension question.
- Remind ELs to use their bilingual glossaries to look up unknown words.
- Group ELs meaningfully as a scaffold and have partners discuss the comprehension questions (with sentence starters if necessary) before writing their answers.
Independent working time(15 minutes)
- Distribute a copy of the Explore Earthquakes! worksheet and have them complete the sheets independently.
- Review the answers to the worksheets as a class and correct any misconceptions.
- Reduce linguistic load by only assigning the Explore Earthquakes! worksheet.
- Provide a student-friendly glossary of words and phrases key to understanding the text.
- Give students sentence frames and a word bank to complete responses.
- Underline key details in the text, allowing ELs to focus on understanding the informative text.
- Have ELs write their answers on a separate sheet of paper, scaffolding each response with a sentence starter.
- Pair students who need support with students who have a firm grasp on the lesson material.
- Challenge advanced students to research different natural disasters and create documents similar to the worksheets.
- Assign students the Explore Tsunamis! worksheet to each student and have them complete it as an assessment.
- Collect students' worksheets after the exercise. Review them later to assess overall comprehension of the lesson content.
- Facilitate a "Fist of Five" activity, where students will hold up one to five fingers to show their level of understanding (where 1 indicates uncertainty and 5 indicates mastery).
- Ask students to respond to the following statement: "I can describe one reading strategy that helps me to understand a nonfiction text."
- Lighten the linguistic load by shortening the reading assessment.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Ask students to share one aspect of informational texts that help them understand what they're reading.
- Remind students that reading informational text is a skill that they'll be using for a long time.
- Have ELs discuss the following prompt in small groups: "Describe how you use key vocabulary and a diagram to help you understand a text in English or your home language."
- Remind students that they will be using these nonfiction text features to understand many informational texts in the future.
- Ask them to tell you why understanding text features can be helpful.