How to Easily Incorporate Informational Text in Your ELA Classroom - EB Academics

Grab Your Free Writing Guide

Become an EB Insider Today

How to Easily Incorporate Informational Text in Your ELA Classroom

March 20, 2018 2 min read

How many of us get excited to teach informational text? Our guess is not many. But, it doesn’t have to be that way! We’ve found that integrating an informational article or two within our literature units makes the units much more meaningful and encourages students to form deeper connections and analyze the novel/short story/poem more critically with their newfound information.

Once we determine which articles will be beneficial for a given unit we do the following:
TIP ONE:

Assign ongoing articles for students to read that correlate with themes being studied in class over the course of a longer unit such as a class novel. We love using Newsela for leveled articles. However, the comprehension questions included on the site are often recall-based. Instead, we supply students with our Informational Text Reading Response Choice Board, which encourages deeper analysis. Students submit their responses to us periodically throughout the unit.

TIP TWO:

Include an informational text article in at least one of your Socratic Seminars for a particular unit. (Not familiar with Socratic Seminars? Read our post here!) For our Socratic Seminar for the short story “Thank You, M’am” by Langston Hughes, we had students read an informational article titled, “Study on Teen Boys in Poor Neighborhoods finds Surprising Result” that we got from Newsela. Here are some of the questions students discussed as part of the seminar:

  • In your opinion, what is the author’s strongest piece of evidence he/she uses to support the claim? Why is it the strongest?
  • What else would you like to learn about this topic? What in the text made you want to learn more information?
  • Identify any connections between this article and “Thank You, M’am.”

Having students analyze the piece of literature in conjunction with the informational text article really strengthens the discussion and so many text connections are made. Students also help each other decipher the more difficult parts of the article.

TIP THREE:

Find a related informational article for the literature unit you are teaching, and use task cards specifically designed for informational text. Have students answer the questions in any of the following ways:

  • Think Pair Share
  • Small Group Discussion (we usually have our students create a visual display of their discussion)
  • Jigsaw
TIP FOUR:

Make use of graphic organizers to help students engage with the text in a meaningful way and deepen their critical thinking skills. We like to use these graphic organizers (pictured below) with our students. These have proven to be helpful in many settings – from individual informal assessments, to partner work, and more. There’s nothing better than graphic organizers that can be used over and over again in various ways!

Incorporating informational text in your lessons can be a powerful tool. We’d love to hear any other ways you analyze informational text in your classroom!

An easy way to incorporate informational text into your middle school ELA curriculum!
Save this post for later!
An easy way to incorporate informational text into your middle school ELA curriculum!
 
EB Academic Camps

All posts

No Comments

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Welcome!

Welcome!

Hi there! We're two middle school ELA teachers with a mission to share ideas, tips, and tricks for effectively teaching reading and writing in the secondary classroom. We're so happy you stopped by!

Caitlin + Jessica

Your 15 Free Resources Are Waiting!

Immediately receive access to our
Free Resource Library

We promise we won't spam you.

Let’s Connect

Popular Posts

Our Latest Posts

Categories

Instagram

  • Tell me in the comments below 👇🏼 What type of writing do you HATE teaching the most?⁣
⁣
Narratives? Argumentative? Informational? Text-based? ⁣
⁣
ALL OF THEM?!⁣
⁣
So many teachers reach out to us about struggles they face when teaching writing, so know that you are NOT ALONE. ⁣
⁣
All of this to say, I love seeing the success of our EB Teachers with writing in their classrooms like Kate from @kateteaching7and8 who is using so many of our EB Teachers’ Club resources to see amazing results for her students!⁣
⁣
I love what Kate has to say about these lessons, “I really feel like the EB Teachers’ Club has me not only feeling more prepared as I start class each day, but also like I’m increasing my expectations and rigor. The greatest part is the kids are rising to meet the new expectations.” 😍♥️🤗
  • Something that I’ve been thinking about lately as I’ve been doing a lot of personal work to grow and become the best version of myself ...⁣
⁣
I think it’s important for us to remember how we are showing up each day. Whether that’s in the classroom or even at home with family and friends. ⁣
⁣
Who are we being?⁣
⁣
And why are we being that way?⁣
⁣
If there’s something about yourself that you don’t like, first I want you to question why you feel that way and where that belief about yourself comes from. ⁣
⁣
But then I want to encourage you to think about how you could adjust to be the best version of you. ⁣
⁣
I’ll give you an example from myself ... I am VERY high strung. And I have been telling myself this narrative about who I am for forever. My family tells me. My friends tell me. ⁣
⁣
But that’s not who I want to be and that’s now what I want to define me. ⁣
⁣
So I’ve taken a hard look at why I feel this way about myself, and what I can do to alter that narrative and not be high strung. And not be defined in that way. ⁣
⁣
Just some food for thought on a Sunday morning. ⁣
⁣
Feel free to share your thoughts with me ♥️
  • Can I be completely honest for a second?

One thing that I miss about being a classroom teacher (in addition to SO many other things) is dressing up every day 🤷🏼‍♀️ There, I said it 😱

Weird? I don’t know ... maybe, but that’s me.
  • It is very possible that today’s podcast episode will completely contradict a major component of the way you teach literary analysis. 
In the episode, we reveal our third game-changing strategy for teaching evidence-based writing, and we’re asking you to take a breath, suspend judgement for a moment, and allow us to walk you through exactly why we believe in this strategy, even though it goes against the grain. 
Continue listening to the episode here —> ebacademics.com/35
  • One of the biggest mistakes we can make as writing teachers is requiring our students to start their essays with a HOOK. 
With this strategy, students gets STUCK on that first sentence before they can even get a chance to get to the heart of their paper! They end up wasting tons of precious writing time trying to come up with an interesting hook that oftentimes is a stretch. 
Instead, we want to give our students a CLEAR roadmap to begin their essays. One that will give them confidence in their abilities from the get go. One that allows them to quickly move into the meat of their critical analysis, so they can truly show us what they've learned. 
If you've ever taught hook and are ready to try a new, counterintuitive approach that WORKS and gives your students RESULTS, this episode is a MUST listen. 
Head over here to give it a listen --> ebacademics.com/34
  • Double tap if you agree ♥️♥️⁣
⁣
And if you need to call in sick to take a mental health day for yourself. DO IT. Take a day off and go get a pedicure, or go shopping, or go workout!⁣
⁣
Do whatever you need to do to get to the place of your best self. ⁣
⁣
I used to work with a teacher who took a mental health day every month. It was when I first started teaching, and I didn’t get it. Why was she doing that?⁣
⁣
Well, fast forward to a decade in the classroom later, and now I truly see the value and importance of doing that! ⁣
⁣
I know you hear it all the time, but let it sink in ...⁣
⁣
You need to do what’s best for YOU and take care of yourself first. If we aren’t operating from our best selves, then we’re not able to serve anyone the way that we’re capable of. ⁣
⁣
On another note, hope you all enjoyed that extra hour of sleep last night! And if you have young children, I can commiserate. My little guy woke up at 6:30 😂😭🤦🏼‍♀️📸 @dumbosteiner

Follow @ebacademics

×