Grade 2: Informational Text – Reading for Inquiry and Writing a Report

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COMMON CORE STANDARDS

Reading Informational Text

RI.2.1 Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.

RI.2.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases in a text relevant to a grade 2 topic or subject area.

RI.2.5 Know and use various text features (e.g., captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries, indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently.

RI.2.10 By the end of year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grades 2-3 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

Writing

W.2.2 Write informative/explanatory texts in which they introduce a topic, use facts and definitions to develop points, and provide a concluding statement or section.

W.2.7 Participate in shared research and writing projects (e.g., read a number of books on a single topic to produce a report; record science observations).

W.2.8 Recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

Speaking and Listening

SL.2.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

SL.2.1(c) Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g., gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to others with care, speaking one at a time about the topics and texts under discussion).

SL.2.6 Produce complete sentences when appropriate to task and situation in order to provide requested detail or clarification.

Language

L.2.3 Use knowledge of language and its conventions when writing, speaking, reading, or listening.

DESCRIPTION OF UNIT

This Grade 2 unit titled “Informational Text—Reading for Inquiry and Writing a Report” from the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education is intended to be completed in 13 sixty-minute sessions of ELA/Literacy instructional time.  The focus of this unit is on reading and comprehending informational texts and writing an informational report. Second-grade students read and listen to multiple texts and deconstruct them with the teacher in order to understand the organization of informational texts and to learn how to ask questions as they read. Next, students learn how to identify important information that needs to be included in a quality report. Finally, as part of the authentic summative assessment,  students individually read at least two books on a topic, take notes, organize the notes, and construct a report with at least one text feature. They then read the reports to their kindergarten buddies. A copy is made of each report and given to the kindergarten class for their classroom library.

CAUTIONS

Connecticut teachers should be cautioned that teacher notes and preparation materials are extensive and will require familiarity to be used effectively. It is important to consider the variability of learners in the class and make adaptations as necessary in pacing, scaffolding, and discrete skill instruction.  A wide variety of informational texts on animals will need to collected; it is important to consider the readability text ranges necessary to meet the needs of all students.  (The CCSS Lexile Text Range “Find a Book” can be accessed at this link:  https://www.lexile.com/fab/results/?keyword.)

RATIONALE FOR SELECTION

This unit is an exemplary example of a progression of learning activities where knowledge and skills advance and deepen over time, requiring all students to demonstrate their independent capacities.  It provides for authentic learning, application of literacy skills, as well as student-directed inquiry. Ongoing formative assessments and an authentic summative performance task are designed to elicit direct, observable evidence of the degree to which a student can independently demonstrate foundational skills.  An aligned CCSS rubric is included.

Click here to see a video of one of the lessons from this unit: Informational Texts—Reading for Inquiry (developed in partnership with Achieve for teachingchannel.org)