User:Amchelt/Helping Students to Navigate Informational Texts

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As a teacher with over 30 years experience, one thing that was noticeable as I teach reading, is many students who could be considered proficient readers score much better when given comprehension based on a fictional text, than they do when given one based on an informational text. One way teachers could help to improve this difference in scores is by the intentional teaching of how to navigate informational texts.

Something To Think about

Teachers must be cognisant when choosing informational texts for instructional purposes, that most students have two different instructional reading levels.

  • An instructional level for fictional texts.
  • An instructional level for nonfictional (informational) texts.
    • Informational texts usually have more difficult words and technical data for students to navigate before they can fully comprehend the author's purpose.
    • The instructional level for informational texts is usually therefore a level or two below that for fictional texts.

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Key points
There are several important concepts that teacher should encourage students to pay attention to as they navigate informational texts.
  1. First they must try to understand what is the author's purpose.
  2. Next they must understand how the author uses text features to draw the reader's attention to particular details, as well as to help the reader understand the information provided.
  • Some important text features include:
  1. Headings and Subheadings
  2. Bold words and italics
  3. Pictures and diagrams
  4. Captions
  5. Charts and graphs

Road Works.svg Work in progress, expect frequent changes. Help and feedback is welcome. See discussion page. Road Works.svg