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Analyzing Informational Text

Main Core Tie

English Language Arts Grade 9-10
Reading: Informational Text Standard 1

Additional Core Ties

English Language Arts Grade 9-10
Reading: Informational Text Standard 2

English Language Arts Grade 9-10
Reading: Informational Text Standard 4

English Language Arts Grade 9-10
Reading: Informational Text Standard 6

English Language Arts Grade 9-10
Speaking and Listening Standard 1 c.

Time Frame

1 class periods of 30 minutes each

Group Size


Life Skills

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Communication




Students use the Informational Text Analysis Tool to deconstruct the essential elements of informational text.


Copies of informational text
Copies of Informational Text Analysis Tool

Background for Teachers

Informational text is more important to teachers than ever before, especially with the rise of the new Core standards. The Library of Congress is an excellent resource for finding and using texts to build students' reading skills.

Through a diverse array of classic and contemporary literature as well as challenging informational and primary source texts, students build knowledge, gain insights, explore possibilities, and broaden their perspective.

Student Prior Knowledge

Students need to have an understanding of the basic elements of textual analysis, such as how to determine a text's claim or central idea, how to cite textual evidence, how to determine purpose and audience, and how to craft good questions.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be able to analyze informational text of increasing complexity to determine the central idea.
  • Students will be able to find and to cite evidence to support the central idea or claim.
  • Students will be able to ask questions of the text and discuss these questions with their peers.
  • Students will be metacognitive about their gaps in understanding a text's vocabulary and language.
  • Students will be able to determine a text's intended audience and purpose.

Instructional Procedures

  1. Select and make copies of a complex informational text (see Library of Congress website) for students to read and to annotate.
  2. Distribute copies of the Informational Text Analysis Tool.
  3. Introduce the article and explain the process for analyzing informational text (see the Informational Text Analysis Tool).
  4. Review the process of finding central ideas, evidence, and determining audience and purpose.
  5. Model for the students the first time, using an overhead projector or a document camera.
  6. Re-aloud the text to the students. Then ask them to re-read the text and highlight sections in the text that respond to the questions on the Analysis Tool.
  7. After pairing the students, instruct them to share the answers they have written down, paying particular attention to the questions each has crafted.
  8. The pairs will answer each other's questions and search for evidence to back up their positions.
  9. Debrief with the whole class to determine unanswered questions and overall comprehension of the text.

Strategies for Diverse Learners

This strategy lends itself to differentiation. Based on the student's needs, the Analysis Tool can be revised in such a way that what is asked of the student can be differentiated (as opposed to differentiating the text itself).


Add additional texts on the same topic to support textual analysis across text sets.

Assessment Plan

A teacher can assess this strategy in a variety of ways: walk around while students are working and check for understanding. If the same question is answered incorrectly by a number of students, then stop and re-teach (formative assessment).

Students can also report out their analyses by responding to a teacher's questions in the debrief section. By collecting and examining each student's (or pair's) answers, the teacher will also be able to assess understanding.


The CoreStand: Core Weekly Literacy Template.
Daniels, Harvey. Texts and Lessons for Content-Area Reading. Heinemann, 2011

Created: 05/02/2013
Updated: 02/05/2018