Examine the Evidence
Students are usually a captive audience. They have to sit and listen to teachers, parents, and just about anyone older than them. The things they’re told—facts, definitions, historical dates—are usually right. But how can students know this for themselves? How can they be confident in the things that are explained to them? Put simply, they need to be able to analyze the information for themselves. And this free lesson plan will teach them to do just that. Check out the lesson plan here, and read on below for an overview of the lesson.
About the Lesson Plan
The objective of this lesson is to discover the features of an explanatory text, examining how an author uses evidence as support to create a definition, a process or provide instructions. Students will utilize analysis and close reading to understand an informative text, especially focusing on how the author uses transitional expressions to effectively sequence or explain ideas.
Start by leading a discussion on an explanatory text (we’ve provided “What is Democracy,” but you can choose one of your own). Point out common features of an explanatory text or solicit input from students to build an understanding of the basic features of an explanatory text. After previewing the text in Read Ahead AI, assign students to read the selected piece, individually, in small groups, or as a whole class. Ask your students to mark words that emphasize transitions and the phrases that surround them. In a whole-class lecture or small group break-outs, ask students to discuss what types of transitions are used by the author. Then, lead a discussion about why transitional words are important in explanatory writing (we’ve provided sample questions in the lesson). Finally, discuss how students can incorporate transitional expressions to organize and provide coherence in their own writing.
Why Use Read Ahead AI?
All of our free lesson plans leverage the power of Read Ahead AI to help students become better readers. By showing readers key words and phrases before asking them to read, we can boost their overall comprehension. Furthermore, Read Ahead AI lets students choose which words they think are important. In this way, student voices quite literally become part of the curriculum. Time spent reading in Read Ahead is automatically logged as well.
If you haven’t already, you can sign up for a Read Ahead AI account here. You’ll need one to access the presentations we’ve made in this lesson plan. If you’re brand new to Read Ahead and would like a demo, we’d be happy to meet with you! You can sign up for one here.