There are so many ways that you can go with informational texts, and that seems to go for not only reading lessons using informational texts, but even for blog posts about the topic! Once I started looking over my posts related to informational texts in preparation for this article, I found quite a mixed bag. Here is some of what I found.
Getting Kids Interested
This post suggests some good hooks to get kids interested in whatever informational topic you have in mind: Getting into Informational Texts
Getting Started with Informational Text
If you’re just launching into the topic, this little post links to one with lots of teaching ideas that I wrote for the Student Savvy blog: Getting Into Informational Texts.
Public Domain Sources
Looking for source material that you don’t have to pay for? The public domain is a virtual treasure chest of free writings. Of course, the trick is to find something that will work for your class among everything that is there. In 2019, Public Domain became a hot topic when the date rolled around for a whole new set of writings to enter the public domain. Lots of good sources were publishing lists of good findings at that time. Here are links to some goodies: So what’s in the Public Domain Treasure Chest?
Informational text seems to be an area where kids especially like to each chose their own reading material. Think Guinness Book and all those other good library day selections! This set of book response bookmarks are each designed specifically for one type or reading material, so no problem if one kid chooses a biography and one chooses a how-to book. Each one is a compact foldable that kids can keep in their book as a bookmark: Book Response Bookmarks.
Free Anchor Chart
Here’s a handy anchor chart that applies to various types of informational texts, as well as some narrative fiction and non-fiction: Text Structure Anchor Chart.
Informational text doesn’t always have to be heavy reading! For some light info text reading activities, seasonal topics are a choice that’s both interesting to kids and easy to come by. For ready-to-use resources, see the suggestions in this post: Seasonal Reading Skills.
Close Reading Activities
If you’re looking for lessons that are a little more involved and really focus in on reading skills, close reading activities are a good bet. They are often built around a non-fiction text and have lots of activities attached such as my close reading “Wild Winter” which is a one page reading with questions and activity sheets for three readings! Lots for kids to do and focus on with one passage! Read the blog post about it here.
Climate Change Topics
Are you planning to use climate change as one of your topics for informational text readings? If you are, this vocabulary list might come in handy for side activities: Earth Day Vocabulary List.
Centennial Year Articles about Women’s Right to Vote
For this year that marks the 100th anniversary of the Amendment that gave women the right to vote, here is a link to one of my previous articles that features a number of informational texts on the subject: Women’s History Month Resources.
The post I wrote about women in history who ran for president was one of my most interesting ones to research. It includes a list of names and little info about some women you may be surprised to learn ran for president as well as links to news articles from a recent election on the same topic. Women Who Ran for President.
If you’re using informational texts about the election process, the inauguration, or democracy in general this election season, quotes about democracy can be used as writing prompts to add a related writing activity to your lesson. Here are a few good quotes: Inauguration Writing Prompts.
This one has good quotes about the importance of a free press: Freedom of the Press.
This free resource includes a one-page reading, a page of close reading questions, and an additional follow-up activity. It seemed especially appropriate for an election year.