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Grade 8—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 8—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 use key details in a text to support a central idea.
  • to analyze the strength of cited evidence.
  • the author’s word choice impacts the connotation of meaning or tone.
  • text structures impacts meaning.

Success Criteria

Students can:

  • identify text evidence to support a given inference or conclusion based on the text.
  • determine a central idea in a text using supporting evidence.
  • use connotation/denotation to determine the correct meaning of an unknown word or phrase.
  • determine how the overall structure of a text impacts its meaning.
  • analyze the impact of word choice on the reader interpretation of meaning.

Title Resource Overview

Determining Main Idea External link opens in new window or tab.

CCSS of focus: RH 6-8.2, RI 7.2, RI 8.2

Estimated Instructional Time: 60 min.

This resource includes a historical text and step-by-step lesson plan providing direct instruction to students to determine the main idea(s). The lesson helps students to organize and differentiate all of the explicit and implicit information and text-based inferences they generate during the reading of a text into meaningful groupings. Emphasis has been placed on developing analytical skills and to have students grapple with more complex ideas. This resource is adaptable to accommodate locally-selected text and resources.

Citing Textual Evidence External link opens in new window or tab.

CCSS of focus: RI 8.1

Estimated Instructional Time: 60 min.

This resource includes a six-minute, engaging video, materials for collaboration, and independent and peer review prompts for citing textual evidence. The video demonstrates both the need for citing evidence and how to find the evidence to support a conclusion. Essential skills demonstrated include: close and repeated reading for a particular purpose, citing factual evidence from text, collaborative conversation, inferring an evidence based conclusion, and annotating a document.

Judging the Evidence External link opens in new window or tab.

CCSS of focus: RI 6.8, 7.8, 8.8

Estimated Instructional Time: 60 min.

This resource includes a lesson plan and graphic organizer intended to help students evaluate evidence. After learning how to identify a claim and the evidence for the inference, students decide if enough sound and relevant evidence is provided to support the claim(s).

Using Word Connotation to Comprehend Complex Text External link opens in new window or tab.

CCSS of focus: RI 8.4, L 8.5.c

Estimated Instructional Time: 60 min.

This resource includes a lesson plan with guided and independent practice intended to teach students word connotations. Students use a knowledge rating scale to build word meaning and monitor learning and sort words by connotation culminating in a presentation on padlet.com.

Analyzing Text through Descriptive Outlining External link opens in new window or tab.

CCSS of focus: RI 8.4, 8.5, 8.6

Estimated Instructional Time: 60 min.

This resource includes an overview, lesson plan, and graphic organizer for student analysis of how a particular sentence, paragraph, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas. This resource is used to help students analyze text to determine not only what the text says, but also how an author presents ideas.

Compare and Contrast Graphic Organizer External link opens in new window or tab.

CCSS of focus: RI 7.7

Estimated Instructional Time: 60 min.

This resource includes a graphic organizer for student use in comparing and contrasting written text through audio and video presentations.

Informational Text Structure Paragraph Toss External link opens in new window or tab.

CCSS of focus: RI 8.5

Estimated Instructional Time: 30 min.

This resource includes sample text and an activity for students to interact with text structure. The five intended text structures for this resource are the following: compare/contrast, problem/solution, cause/effect, descriptive, and sequence. The activity supports the formative assessment processes of Elicit and Interpret Evidence.  Educators can easily adapt the strategy to fit local needs.

Questions:   CAASPP | caaspp@cde.ca.gov | 916-445-8765
Last Reviewed: Monday, April 29, 2019
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