Vocabulary Instruction and the Common Core

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Informational Text and the
Common Core State Standards
Illinois State Board of Education
English Language Arts Content
Specialists
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Today’s Targets
• Importance of informational text
• Informational text and the Common Core State
Standards
• 5 ways to improve comprehension of
informational text
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What is Informational Text?
Informational text is text whose primary
purpose is to convey information about the
natural or social world, and that has
particular linguistic features to accomplish
that purpose.
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Difference Between Fiction, Informational
Text and Nonfiction
Fiction
Nonfiction
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
• Informational Text
Drama
Poetry
Short Stories
Myths
Legends
Nursery Rhymes
Realistic Fiction
Drama






Encyclopedias
Field Guides
All-about books
Informational Hypertext (websites)
Magazines
Newspapers
• Literary Nonfiction
 Essay
 Journal
 Letter
A balance of informational text
Informational
Text
Literature
Informational
Text
Science,
Biographies,
Literature
Short
Stories
Social
Studies,
History, Arts,
Myths,
Legends,
Directions,
Forms, etc.
Poetry,
Drama
Teacher Use of Informational Texts in
Read-Alouds
Narrative texts have largely
dominated read-alouds in the
primary classroom.
Mixed Genre
13%
Expository
4%
(Duke, 2000)
In the past, when teachers read aloud
& interpreted difficult nonfiction,
young readers learned information
but failed to read expository text.
Narrative
82%
(Palmer & Stewart, 2003)
Teachers need to directly instruct how
to navigate & extract information in
order to become fluent & strategic
readers of this genre.
(RAND, 2002)
6
Research
Read-alouds and the use of text-based discussions
are opportunities to help students learn from
complex informational text, especially when
students are just learning to read or if students
struggle to read informational text
independently.
(Beck & McKeown, 2001; Snow, Burns, & Griffin, 1998).
Research
• Studies have long shown that the majority
of the reading and writing adults do is
nonfiction (Venezky, 1982).
• Approximately 96% of sites on the World
Wide Web contain nonfiction, informational
text (Kamil and Lane, 1998).
8
Research
Nearly 44 million American adults cannot extract
even a single piece of information from a written
text if any inference or background knowledge is
required (Levy, 1993).
9
Research
Some education researchers have attributed the
"fourth grade slump" in overall literacy
achievement in large part to problems with
informational literacy (Chall, Jacobs, and
Baldwin, 1990).
Background knowledge has a profound influence
on students’ ability to comprehend what they
read.
The more extensive a reader’s background
knowledge is, the easier it is to acquire new
information offered by the text (Alfassi, 2004).
10
Common Core State Standards
• Calls for an interdisciplinary approach with a balance of
literature and informational texts in:
– history
– social studies
– science and technical subjects
• Preparation for reading complex informational texts
should begin at the very earliest elementary school
grades.
• Domain-specific nonfiction can be infused within the
English language arts block.
(National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers, 2010)
11
Balancing Informational and Literary Texts
50% K-5
55% by grade 8
70% by grade12
“In K–5, the Standards follow NAEP’s lead in
balancing the reading of literature with the
reading of informational texts, including texts in
history/social studies, science, and technical
subjects.”
(National Governors Association Center for Best Practices, Council of Chief State School Officers, 2010)
Informational Text:
The Benefits Align with Elements of Text Complexity
Expands student development of:
• more sophisticated oral language
Elements of
Text Complexity
(Reese & Harris, 1997)
•content area knowledge in
science and social studies
(Stone & Twardosz, 2001; Hirsch, 2003)
•expository text structures
(Duke & Kays, 1998; Donovan & Smolkin, 2001)
Text
Structure
Levels of
Meaning
Language
Knowledge
Demands
•reading interest in various topics
(Duke 2000; Casteel & Isom, 1994)
13
Five ways to improve comprehension of
informational text:
1. Increase attention to the unique and the especially challenging
characteristics of informational text. Two characteristics are:
Text Features
Text Structures
2. Increase instructional time with informational text.
3. Increase access to informational text.
4. Increase explicit teaching of comprehension strategies, along
with lots of opportunities for guided and independent practice.
5. Ensure that informational text is used for authentic purposes as
much as possible.
(Duke, 2005)
14
#1
Increase attention to the unique and the especially
challenging characteristics of informational text
Text Features That Signal Importance
• Fonts and Effects
Titles, headings, boldface print, color print, italics, bullets, captions, labels
• Cue Words and Phrases
• Illustrations and Photographs
• Graphics
Diagrams, cross-sections, overlays, distribution maps, word bubbles, tables, graphs,
charts
• Text Organizers
Index, preface, table of contents, glossary, appendix
• Text Structures
(Harvey and Goudvis, 2000)
15
Discuss the Characteristics of Fiction and
Informational Texts
Fiction
• Beginning,
middle, end
• Characters
• Setting
• Problem
• Events
• Solution
• Stories
• Read from
beginning to end
Both
• Illustrations
• They help you
learn
• They are fun to
read
• words
Informational
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Bold print
Table of contents
Index
Photographs
Captions
Information
Fun facts
Read in any
order
• Do not have to
read entire book
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Text Features
Research confirms the
need to explicitly teach
text features.
(Kelley & Clausen-Grace. 2010)
Introduce a new text
feature each day. Chart
the feature and its
purpose.
Show students many
examples in nonfiction
books.
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Have students find their own examples
of text features in books.
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Teacher models how to design a
text feature.
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Student Diagrams
Have students make
their own diagrams…..
Diagrams can become part of student
work:
• picture glossaries
• summaries
• writing
• question generation
• research projects
20
Informational vs Narrative Text Structure
Narrative
Purpose: Tell a Story
• Beginning
• Middle
• End
• Usually written from the
author’s imagination
(plot, conflict, setting)
Informational
Purpose: Inform or Describe
• Sequential
• Description
• Comparison
• Cause and Effect
• Problem and Solution
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Informational Text Structure
Children have far less familiarity with informational text
structures than with narrative.
(Goldman & Rakestraw, 2000)
Students of all ages generally find reading informational
text more difficult than reading narrative text.
(Langer, 1985)
“Knowing the overall organizational pattern, as well as
underlying structures such as comparison and contrast,
provide a scaffold for deriving and understanding the
information.”
(Fountas & Pinnell, 2008)
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Text Structure
• Writers use
different structures
to build their ideas.
• Each text structure
communicates
ideas in a different
way.
There are certain structures found in
informational text. Each type of structure
makes its own demands on the reader:
 sequential,
 description,
 comparison,
 cause & effect,
 problem & solution.
Sequential
The author lists items or events in numerical or
chronological order. Clue words include first,
second, third, next, then and finally.
.
Description
The author lists
characteristics,
features, and examples
to describe a subject.
Clue words for
description include for
example &
characteristics.
Comparison
The author explains how
two or more things are
alike or different. Clue
words include different,
in contrast, alike, same
as, or on the other
hand.
Cause and Effect
The author explains one or more
causes and the resulting effect or
effects. Clue words
are reasons
Cause
why, if, then,
as a result,
Cause
therefore,
and because.
Cause
Effect
Problem and Solution
The author states a
problem and lists one
or more solutions for
the problem. Clue
Problem
_________
words are problem _________
_________
is, dilemma is,
puzzle is, solve,
question, and
answer.
Solution
_________
_________
_________
Teaching Text Structure
Piccolo (1987) recommends introducing and working on the
patterns one at a time.
Use short, easy paragraphs and maps or graphic
organizers to define, explain and illustrate each
structural pattern.
Help students discover the common distinguishing features
in these examples.
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#2 – Increase Instructional Time
With Informational Text
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#3
Increase Access to Informational Text
Does your classroom library have
informational text?
Is there time in the schedule for all students
to choose and read informational text?
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Provide A Plethora of Informational
Text in Your Classroom
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Think Outside the Book
Magazines
• Ranger Rick
• My Big Backyard (www.nwf.org)
• Dig (www.digonsite.com)
• Time For Kids (www.timeforkids.com)
• Discover (www.kidsdiscover.com)
• National Geographic http://www.nationalgeographic.com/magazines/
• Cobblestone Publishers (Cricket & Ladybug Magazines)
http://www.cobblestonepub.com/samplers.html
Appleseeds (social studies)
Ask (science)
Click (science, history and other areas)
Newspapers
• Find news articles on topics your class is studying and post them.
• Establish a spot in the room labeled “In the News” where you rotate
news articles on a regular basis.
• Scholastic News
(www.teacher.scholastic.com/products/classmags.htm)
• NIEonline provides online lesson plans and other innovative
materials for use on NIE websites to provide new ways for your
teachers to use your newspaper and your e-Edition in their
classrooms.
http://nieonline.com/
The Internet
Kid-Friendly Search Engine - www.yahooligans.com
Favorite Websites
CIA - www.odci.gov
National Geographic – www.nationalgeographic.org
PBS – www.pbs.org
World Health Organization – www.who.org
The White House – www.whitehouse.gov
Add to Your Classroom Library
Multiple Genres
Multiple Reading Levels
•
•
•
•
•
Include some books that are
two grades above your
class’s level, and some
two years below its level.
Fantasy Books
Predictable Books
Biographies
Poetry
Procedural Texts
Cookbooks
Science Experiment
• Joke Books
• Cartoons
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#4
Increase explicit teaching of comprehension
strategies, along with lots of opportunities for
guided and independent practice.
Reciprocal Teaching - (Palincsar & Brown, 1986)
Collaborative Strategic Reading - (Klinger &Vaughn,
1999)
Evidence is clear: the more time students spend reading, the
higher their reading achievement
(Anderson, Fielding, & Wilson, 1988)
Students benefit most when independent reading time is
carefully planned and monitored.
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Reciprocal Teaching
• When reciprocal teaching was used for just 15 days students
reading increases from 30 - 80%.
(Palinscar & Brown, 1986)
• According to a study by Palinscar and Klenk 1991, students not
only improved their comprehension skills immediately, but they
also maintained improved comprehension skills when tested a
year later.
• Lubliner 2001, points out that reciprocal teaching is an
effective teaching technique that can improve on the kind of
reading comprehension that is necessary not only for improved
test scores but also for an information age.
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What is Reciprocal Teaching?
Speaking
and
listening
Definition: Reciprocal teaching refers to an instructional
activity that takes place in the form of a dialogue
between teachers and students regarding segments of
text. The dialogue is structured by the use of four
strategies: summarizing, question generating,
clarifying, and predicting. The teacher and students take
turns assuming the role of teacher in leading this
dialogue.
(Palincsar,1986)
TextDependent
Questions
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The Four Reciprocal Teaching
Strategies…
Predicting
CCSS #1
Questioning
Clarifying
Summarizing
CCSS # 8
CCSS #2
Ask and answer such questions
as who, what, where, when, why,
and how to demonstrate
understanding of key details in a
text. (RI.2.1)
Describe how reasons
support specific points the
author makes in a text.
(RI.2.8)
Identify the main topic of
a multiparagraph text
as well as the focus of
specific paragraphs within
the text. (RI.2.2)
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But don’t I use these four strategies
already?
n
n
n
Most likely, you already teach your students to predict,
question, clarify, summarize and visualize.
The difference with reciprocal teaching is that the
strategies are delivered as a multiple-strategy package
used in concert with one another rather than as separate
strategies.
The aim of reciprocal teaching is for good readers to
cycle through four strategies, not necessarily in order, to
make sense of the text.
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Collaborative Strategic Reading
CSR is an excellent technique for teaching
students reading comprehension, building
vocabulary and also working together
cooperatively.
(Klinger & Vaughn, 1996)
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Collaborative Strategic Reading
(Students work in small, cooperative groups)
Before Reading
1.
Brainstorm – What do we already know about the topic?
2.
Predict – What do we think we will learn about the topic when we read the passage?
3.
Read the first paragraph, sentence or section.
During Reading
1.
Click & Clunk – Were there any parts that were hard to understand (clunks)? How can we
fix the clunks?
2.
Get the Gist – What is the most important person, place or thing? What is the most
important idea about the person, place or thing?
After Reading
1. Wrap Up – Ask text-dependent questions: questions that can only be answered by referring
explicitly back to the text being read.
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Collaborative Strategic Reading
• Students have specific roles: leader, clunk expert, gist
expert, announcer, encourager.
• Cue cards may be used to support students in small,
cooperative groups.
– E.g., a clunk card that says: “Reread the sentences before and after the clunk
looking for cues.”
– E.g., a student leader cue card that says: “Did everyone understand what we
read? If you did not, write your clunks in your learning log.”
• Students complete learning logs before and after
reading.
http://www.ims.issaquah.wednet.edu/CSR/CSR_Plan.pdf
http://www.ims.issaquah.wednet.edu/CSR/CSR_Learning_Log.pdf
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Strategy Tips

Model the strategies.

Be consistent.

Use the strategies several times a week.
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#5
Ensure that informational text is used for
authentic purposes as much as possible.
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Authentic Purposes
Set up situations in which students need
information – then encourage students to
read to obtain that information.
Find information about the life cycles of
frogs before setting up a
tadpole tank.
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Learn about the needs of growing
things before planting a window box.
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Authentic Purposes
• Water is left out on a pan on Friday and
has “disappeared” on a Monday.
• Set out magnets with various materials
that the magnets will or will not attract.
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Use informational text …
•
•
•
•
•
For pleasure
To pass the time
To increase general knowledge
To find out something you want or need to know
And for writing: To convey information from someone
who knows it to someone who does not, yet wants or
needs to do so
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Reference
Alfassi, M. (2004). Reading to learn: Effects of combined strategy instruction on high school students. The
Journal of Educational Research 97(4), 171–184.
Beck, I., McKeown, M., & Kucan, L. (2002). Bringing words to life:
Robust vocabulary instruction. New York: Guilford.
Casteel, C.P., & Isom, B.A. (1994). Reciprocal processes in science and literacy learning. Reading
Teacher, 47(7),538-545.
Chall, J.S. and Jacobs, V.A. (2003). Poor Children's Fourth-Grade Slump. American Educator, Spring,
2003. Retrieved Oct. 24, 2007, from
http://www.aft.org/pubsreports/american_educator/spring2003/chall.html.
Duke, N. K. (2000). 3.6 minutes per day: The scarcity of informational texts in first grade. Reading
Research Quarterly, 35, 202–224.
Duke, N. K., & Kays, J. (1998). Can I say Once upon a time'?: Kindergarten children developing
knowledge of information book language. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 13, 295-318.
Goldman, S.R., & Rakestraw, J.A. (2000). Structural aspects of constructing meaning from text. In M.L.
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311-335). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Harvey, Stephanie, & Goudvis, Anne. (2000). Strategies that work: Teaching comprehension to enhance
understanding. York, ME: Stenhouse.
Hirsch, E.D. (2003). Reading comprehension requires knowledge – of words and the world: Scientific
insights into the fourth-grade slump and the nation’s stagnant comprehension scores. American
Educator, Spring, 2003.
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References
Kelley, M. J. and Clausen-Grace, N. (2010), Guiding Students Through Expository Text With Text
Feature Walks. The Reading Teacher, 64: 191–195.
Klinger & Vaughn, (1999). Promoting reading comprehension, content learning, and English
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586-602.
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neuropsychology (pp. 49 – 73). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.
Lubliner, S. (2001). A practical guide to reciprocal teaching. Bothell, WA: Wright Group/McGraw-Hill.
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Palincsar, A. S., & Brown, A. L. (1986). Interactive teaching to promote independent learning from text.
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Palmer, R.G. & Stewart, R. A. (2005). Models for using nonfiction in the primary grades. The Reading
Teacher, 57, 38-48
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40.(9), 838-847.
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References
Pinnell, G., & Fountas, I. (2008). When readers struggle: Teaching that works. Portsmouth, NH:
Heinemann.
Pressley, M., El-Dinary, P.B., Gaskins, I., Schuder, T., Bergman, R. L, Almasi, J., & Brown, R. (1992).
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Rand Study Group. (2002). Reading for understanding: Toward an R&D program in reading
comprehension. Santa Monica, CA: Rand Corporation.
Reese, D. A. & Harris, V. J. (1997). “Look at this nest!” The beauty and power of using informational
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Snow, C., Burns, M., & Griffin, P. (1998). Preventing reading difficulties in young children. Washington,
DC: National Academy Press.
Stone, S. & Twardosz, S. (2001). Children's books in child care classrooms: Quality, accessibility, and
reasons for teachers' choices. Journal of Research in Childhood Education, 16(1), 53-69.
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literacy instruction. Visible Language, 16, 112–127.
.
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Please contact English Language Arts
Specialists at: [email protected]
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