Wednesday, January 19, 2022

Helping students engage with informational texts


How do you help students get into reading nonfiction, informational text passages as part of a lesson plan?

The Learning Network of The New York Times has been publishing a lesson plan every day during the school year in one subject or another for several years now, and they always start with some type of activity that gets students brains focused on the topic of an article.

Those ice breakers and short activities students do before reading the informational text, are very useful. Editors of the Learning Network, all of them former teachers, have compiled those “do-nows” into 18 categories and explained how each works, providing a few examples from the lesson plans to illustrate their use.

Whether the articles are about surfing, statistics, or superheroes, many students require some kind of on-ramp to the passage. This is known as “scaffolding,” where students are introduced to a topic a little bit at a time. Once they have a reference point, the material in a New York Times article is often more accessible.

Paul Katula
Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

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

Recent Posts

Chicago Public Schools closed Wednesday

Chicago Public School students stayed home Wednesday, following a vote by teachers not to report to work due to the pandemic.

Top 11 school headlines of 2021

A Christmas parody from Nanook the Huskie

Holiday baking suggestions from IL students

Guns brought to 2 Md. high schools

Deadly tornadoes rip IL, 5 other states

Concerns over shooting suspect’s behavior