Students learn reading comprehension skills, such as finding the main idea and summarizing text, and apply these skills to informational and argumentative texts. They also develop their writing and speaking skills.
Non-fiction Texts unit contains 11 learning experiences.
Learning Experiences (Lessons) in Non-fiction Texts Each learning experience takes about 45 minutes to teach in the device-enabled classroom.
Students prepare to read and comprehend nonfiction writing. They generate questions and make predictions in advance, so they know what to look for to deepen their understanding of the content. Then they read and correct or confirm those predictions using a structured approach.
Students make inferences using their existing knowledge to increase their reading comprehension. They monitor their own understanding of what they are reading and learn techniques to use when they have trouble understanding. Then, they identify key points in a text and compare information in multiple sources.
Finding the Main Idea
Students explore what main ideas and supporting details are and how to find them. They read several passages and identify and evaluate details to identify key ideas. Then, they distinguish between explicit and implicit meaning and make inferences about implicit meanings of text. Finally, they research an additional fact to add to one of the supporting details for the article read in the experience.
Students read a journal entry and practice summarizing and paraphrasing it. Then they analyze and synthesize information to create new material that maintains the original meaning. They learn to distinguish the differences between paraphrasing and plagiarism when writing based on research.
Reading Informational Text
Students explore the various types of organizational structures common in informational texts and then read short examples and identify each structure. Then, they preview a passage, making predictions based on the text features and organizational structures. Next, they read the passage and analyze it using their knowledge of the organizational structure. Finally, they identify the main idea and supporting details within the passage.
Writing Informational Text
Students write an informational passage with a compare-and-contrast organizational structure. First, they choose a topic and then move through the writing process from prewriting, to drafting, to revising and editing. They use informational text features in their writing. Students will self-evaluate based on a rubric.
Reading Argumentative Text
Students learn the elements of an argumentative text, including the types of evidence an author can use as support. They also explore the connection between knowing a text’s audience and reading argumentative text. Next, they read an argumentative passage and explain the audience, claim, reasons, evidence, and counterargument. Finally, they consider whether the argument in the passage they read is convincing.
Writing Argumentative Text
Students compose an argumentative text. First they choose a topic and then they develop it through the writing process from prewriting, to drafting, to revising and editing. They apply the characteristics and organizational structure of argumentative texts to their own writing.
Debating an Issue
Students work in groups on a debate topic. Each group subdivides into teams for and against the topic. Teams research the debate topic in order to plan their initial speech and rebuttal. Teams listen to and address the opposing team’s speech in order to adequately address the arguments made. The students not participating in the debate listen and take notes so they may ask the teams questions as needed. The audience votes on which team presented a more convincing argument.
Writing a Formal Letter
Students brainstorm about letter writing. Then, they learn the difference between informal and formal (business) letters and study formal letter format. Next, they consider the purposes of the parts of a business letter, and they explain why business letter format is important. Finally, they write a letter of complaint and a letter responding to it.
Book Review (Non-fiction)
Students choose a non-fiction book to read and explain why they chose it. Next, they use pre-reading strategies to make predictions and ask questions. Then they read the book and monitor comprehension by completing graphic organizers. After reading, they evaluate the book with post-reading strategies. Finally, they write a book review, rate the book, and create a new cover for it.