Grade 4: Close Reading of The Life and Times of the Ant


4 apple rating


Reading for Information

RI.4.1 Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

RI.4.4 Determine the meaning of general academic and domain-specific words or phrases in a text relevant to a grade 4 topic or subject area.

RI.4.5 Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect, problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or part of a text.

RI.4.7 Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.


W.4.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.


This Grade 4 lesson titled “Close Reading of The Life and Times of the Ant” cited on the CPALMS website is intended to be completed in 4 hours of ELA/Literacy instruction. This lesson provides an in depth look at an informational text that is heavy with graphic features and links science to reading. Students study the key features and text structure of an informational text and explore content-specific vocabulary prior to creating their own text feature time line based on text evidence. In the summative assessment, using information provided, students compare and contrast the lives of ants to the lives of humans.


Connecticut teachers should be cautioned that the teacher notes and preparation materials require familiarity to be used as intended. It is recommended that this lesson is taught near of the beginning of the school year so that the targeted skills can continue to be extended. The text is not included in the lesson plan, although any informational text that is in CCSS Grade 4-5 Lexile text range (740L-1010L) that requires students to read closely and examine text evidence could be substituted. The lesson plan lists its standards with Florida labels; while the standards listed above use the Common Core labeling – but the wording remains the same. While assessment guidelines are included, the use of a Common Core-aligned rubric that elicits direct, observable evidence of the degree to which students can independently demonstrate all of the targeted standards is suggested.


This lesson is a good example of how to cultivate student interest and engagement in reading, writing, speaking and listening about a text in order to draw evidence to produce clear and coherent writing. It provides all students with multiple opportunities to engage with a text of appropriate complexity and scaffolding. The lesson addresses instructional expectations and is easy to understand and use. Activities engage students in a productive struggle through discussion questions and other supports that build toward independence.