Grade 1: Text Detectives Investigate Meat Eating Plants


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Reading Informational Texts

RI.1.1 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.

RI.1.5 Know and use various text features (e.g., headings, tables of contents, glossaries, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text.

RI.1.7 Use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas.


W.1.2 Write informative/explanatory texts in which they name a topic, supply some facts about the topic, and provide some sense of closure.

W.1.5 With guidance and support from adults, use a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers.


This Grade 1 lesson set titled “Text Detectives Investigate Meat Eating Plants“ from CPALMS Lesson Plan Development Initiative has an ELA/Literacy instructional time of 11 hours. During initial lesson activities students learn to identify and understand the importance of the text features of non-fiction books. Using several informational texts on meat-eating plants, students then become “text detectives” and learn how to use the text to answer text-dependent questions. Through practice, students are able to prove that their answers to text-dependent questions are based on text evidence and are correct. The culminating activity has three parts that are completed independently: students are first given a book appropriate to their reading level on the topic of meat-eating plants and asked three text-dependent questions; secondly, students are given a copy of a piece of informational text to cut apart, break it down according to text features, and then label the information using a word bank; lastly, students read a text, create a brainstorm map and then write an explanatory paragraph with an appropriate heading or title using evidence learned from the text. Their writings will be compiled into a class book to share with others, complete with a table of contents and highlighted words to include in a glossary that defines those words.


Connecticut teachers are cautioned that lesson plan should be read carefully since materials and preparation are necessary to achieve the intended rigor. Additional scaffolding and support may be necessary for students who are ELL, have disabilities, or read well below the grade level. The lesson plan lists its standards with Florida labels; the standards listed above use the Common Core labeling, but the wording remains the same. Language standards are not either listed or taught, yet they are assessed. Computer access for each student is required to implement the lesson as intended, but not necessary.


This lesson is an exemplary example of how to provide all students with multiple opportunities to engage with text of appropriate complexity while gradually removing supports, requiring students to demonstrate their independent capacities. Activities integrate reading, writing, speaking and listening so that students apply and synthesize advancing literacy skills. The lesson plan addresses instructional expectations and is easy to understand and use. Materials include: a detailed lesson plan, learning objectives, prior knowledge students will need, guiding questions, multiple attachments that enhance the lesson activities, assessment guidelines and rubrics that provide sufficient guidance for interpreting student performance of the targeted standards, as well as suggested accommodations and recommendations.