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Grade 6—Read Informational Texts

The Digital Library Instructional Learning Series links Smarter Balanced Digital Library resources with content from Interim Assessment Blocks.

The Digital Library resources on this list are intended to supplement a teacher’s core curriculum and may not address every standard assessed by the Grade 6—Read Informational Texts Interim Assessment Block. For each resource on this list, a brief description is provided along with the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) of focus and estimated instructional time. Many of the formative assessment practices featured in these resources can be used across grades and content areas, so teachers are encouraged to explore the resources on other lists in the Digital Library Resource Collections. A Digital Library account is required to access all resources on this list. Below are the key learning goals and success criteria specifically for the resources on this list.

Learning Goals

Students understand how to:

  • support their claims by citing textual evidence.
  • use a variety of resources and strategies to determine the intended and connotative meanings of unknown words.
  • determine an author’s purpose or point of view by analyzing text structure and the impact of language use.
  • analyze in detail how events or ideas are introduced, illustrated and elaborated in a text.
  • determine the meaning of symbols, key terms, and other domain-specific words and phrases as they are used in a specific scientific context.
  • distinguish among the connotations of words with similar denotations.
Success Criteria

Students can:

  • determine a central idea in a text using supporting evidence.
  • make an inference about an informational text or texts and identify evidence within the text or texts that support that inference.
  • identify text evidence to support a given inference or conclusion based on the text.
  • analyze how information is presented within a text.
  • determine how information reveals the author’s point of view or purpose within a text.
  • analyze the impact of word choice on reader interpretation of meaning.
Title Resource Overview

Close Reading Strategy: Read Like a Detective External link opens in new window or tab.

CCSS of focus: RI.6.1

Estimated Instructional Time: 60 min.
This resource includes a lesson plan and student materials intended to support students through gradual release and formative assessment strategies. Students locate evidence within the text to support a teacher-generated inference. In the lesson, students are asked to determine if there is sufficient evidence to support the inference and are expected to use the evidence they have gathered to write a constructed response.

What’s the Point? – Media Bias and Argument Writing External link opens in new window or tab.

CCSS of focus: RI.6.1, RI.6.2, RI.6.3, RI.6.6, RI.6.8

Estimated Instructional Time: 240 min. (four 60-minute lessons)
This resource includes a multi-day lesson plan, student materials, and a rubric. The lesson uses current events to acquaint students with the purpose and techniques used in editorial cartoons to promote various points of view. This resource provides students the opportunity to share personal opinions on a current topic of choice in argument writing using bias techniques explored through editorial cartoons.

Primary Sources and the Historical Record of Slavery in the United States External link opens in new window or tab.

CCSS of focus: RI.6.1, RI.6.2, RI.6.3, RI.6.6, RI.6.7, RI.6.9

Estimated Instructional Time: 180 min (two to three 60-minute lessons)

The materials in this resource introduce students to how to work with primary sources and understand the concept of historical record. They use sources about slavery in the United States to clarify, elaborate, and understand the issue and impact of slavery in the United States. The resource includes questions to guide the study and analysis of document and picture resources. The materials include a lesson plan with links to primary sources available at the Library of Congress website, teacher’s guides for working with various primary source analysis tools, and a general guide for using primary sources.

All attributes of the formative assessment process are supported in this investigative unit that revolves around primary sources. The activities provide the teacher with entry points to observe and determine students’ ability to apply critical thinking and analysis skills while working with primary sources to meet standards in ELA/literacy and for ELA in history/social studies

Determining Bias through a Text’s Evidence External link opens in new window or tab.

CCSS of focus: RI.6.1, RI.6.2, RI.6.5, RI.6.6

Estimated Instructional Time: 60 min.
This resource includes a lesson plan and a graphic organizer intended to support students in determining bias in a non-fiction text. This lesson helps students understand that a text can seem objective, but upon analyzing the evidence they may be able to see that a writer has used evidence that shows the topic in a more positive or negative light.

Can Animals Think? External link opens in new window or tab.

CCSS of focus: RI.6.1, RI.6.3, RI.6.6

Estimated Instructional Time: 540 min. (three 180-minute performance tasks)

This resource includes lesson plans, three performance tasks, rubrics, instructional supports, and specific supports for English language learners. It is comprised of three tasks through which students (1) gather evidence based on textual analysis, (2) summarize central ideas, and (3) write an argument focused on explaining ways the author addresses the question, “Can animals think?”

Teaching with Primary Sources: The Solar System and the Universe External link opens in new window or tab.

CCSS of focus: RH.6-8.2, RST.6-8.4

Estimated Instructional Time: 90 min.
This resource includes materials developed by the Library of Congress and provides a teacher’s guide to assist in the development of lessons examining the representation of the universe and solar system over five centuries. The texts provide historical information for students to gain background knowledge as well as tools for teachers to help engage students in the analysis of a wide range of primary source documents.

Shades of Meaning: Vocabulary Denotation and Connotation External link opens in new window or tab.

CCSS of focus: L.6.5

Estimated Instructional Time: 60 min.
This resource includes a lesson plan and student materials intended to determine shades of meanings in groups of words. Students learn about word nuances, denotation and connotation, and how word choice affects writing.

Determining Connotative Meanings of Words (Grade 6) External link opens in new window or tab.

CCSS of focus: L.6.5.c

Estimated Instructional Time: 60 min.

This resource includes a lesson plan with sample texts and word lists intended to distinguish among the connotations of words with similar denotations.

Questions:   California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress Office | caaspp@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Wednesday, January 29, 2020
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