Common Core Standards Response to Intervention (RtI) Special Education ELL/ESL/Dual-Language Classrooms At Home Training

Common Core State Standards

Informational Text

What Is Informational Text?

The Common Core State Standards (CCSS) defines "informational text" as a broad category of nonfiction resources, including: biographies; autobiographies; books about history, social studies, science, and the arts; technical texts (including how-to books and procedural books); and literary nonfiction. The CCSS stress the importance of focused instruction using informational text with students in the elementary grades. Watch the Common Core State Standards Informational Text video
Informational text is designed to make it easier for the reader to find information. This includes using such eye-catching features as section heads, bold-faced terms, table of contents, glossary, captioned photos, art, and info-graphics (graphs, tables, charts and diagrams, etc.)

When selecting informational resources for children, text quality should be judged for its accuracy, the expertise and credibility of the writer, and the currency of the information presented. The developmental appropriateness of the writing, clarity and directness of the language should also be considered.

Watch the February webinar on Informational Text: You will need to create a free Go To Meeting account to see the webinar video.

Why Is Increasing The Reading Of Informational Text Important?

Traditional K-6 reading instruction has always relied heavily on literature and fictional text. Studies show that only 7-15% of classroom time is spent studying informational text. Yet by sixth grade, most of what students are required to read is nonfiction. What's more, 80% of all adult reading is devoted to expository or nonfiction text.

If students are to better comprehend science, social studies, and math text - as well as meet the common core reading and writing requirements for graduation - then we need to increase their exposure to informational texts early in their formal schooling.

Teaching students the skills and strategies to successfully read and comprehend informational text is critical to their future success in higher education and the workplace.

The English Language Arts [ELA] Common Core State Standards recommend more reading of informational text with a ratio of literary to informational as follows:

Grade SpanLiteraryInformational
K-4 50% 50%
5-8 45% 55%
9-12 30% 70%

How Does Learning A-Z Address The Need For Informational Text?

Reading A-Z

Reading A-Z offers an extensive collection of 675+ nonfiction books, including informational texts in a variety of genres covering an array of topics. Leveling Criteria ensure books gradually increase in complexity over 27 levels and are available in both printable and projectable formats.

Leveled Books with lessons target specific skills and strategies along with supporting worksheets, a graphic organizer, a set of discussion cards and a comprehension quiz.

Common Core Lesson Supplements for both nonfiction and fiction Leveled Books address specific key shifts of Common Core instruction.

Also available:

Shared Reading nonfiction books ensure early readers work with informational texts.

Our Close Reading Packs contain a large selection of informational text to support reading multiple, short texts closely.

Visual Devices feature explicit instruction on text elements, such as graphs, charts, maps, schedules, or other visual texts.

Content Area Reading organizes leveled books into featured groups of common content area topics.

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Raz-Kids has 250+ leveled nonfiction texts in eBook format that can be read, listened to, and recorded by the student. Each book is accompanied by an eQuiz (levels A-Z) with quiz results and a list of missed skills, reported to the teacher. For 250+ of our leveled quizzes for both fiction and nonfiction texts we have also identified Common Core State Standards. After taking a quiz online a list of missed standards is sent to the teacher and can be viewed in the Skills Report.

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Teachers subscribing to both Reading A-Z and Raz-Kids have access to eBook versions of all of the leveled nonfiction texts (675+) found on Reading A-Z. For people who subscribe to both Reading A-Z and Raz-Kids, these can be found in the On Your Own Book Room. Students are able to listen, read, and record each book. All nonfiction and fiction books (levels A-Z) are accompanied by an eQuiz. These eQuizzes are auto-graded and the information is included in a report for the teacher to review.

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Science A-Z

Science A-Z has a large collection of science informational texts, many of which are written to three levels of difficulty. Resources are organized by unit under each of the science domains: Life, Earth, Physical, and Process.

Nonfiction Books (Animals unit example K-2) are the fundamental component of each science unit. These books address the core ideas of science by explaining important concepts through text and visuals. The books are provided at three reading levels, and each level conveys similar concepts, images, and vocabulary.

Investigation Packs are sets of student reading passages that foster group discussion and collaboration. The texts and activities help students dig deeper into the science content found in existing Science A-Z units, while also practicing key science and literacy skills. The various I.Files within a pack include a range of reading levels to allow for differentiated instruction.

Focus Books help students focus more deeply on high-interest topics related to Science A–Z units. The five FOCUS books within a science unit include a range of reading levels to allow for differentiated instruction.

Quick Reads (Animals unit example K-2) provide students with magazine-like fact sheets on specific topics related to the unit content. Brain Check questions provide discussion, writing, and homework options.

Science in the News is your go-to product for fun and captivating articles that allow your students to explore the fascinating, dynamic world of current news in STEM fields. Provided monthly at three reading levels.

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In Headsprout, students learn strategies to answer literal, inferential, main idea, and vocabulary questions, which are then applied across a variety of passages, including many informational texts. Throughout the program, students read and answer questions about readings related to astronomy, geology, life science, and social studies. Students are taught to “read to learn” through strategies taught in the program that they can apply to comprehend and process technical text from a wide range of fields.

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