No Series: Informational Texts: Reading for Inquiry


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • RI:  Reading Standards for Informational Text K-\x80\x935
  • 2:  2nd Grade
  • 1: 
    Ask and answer such questions as who, what,
    where, when, why, and how to demonstrate
    understanding of key details in a text.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • RI:  Reading Standards for Informational Text K-\x80\x935
  • 2:  2nd Grade
  • 5: 
    Know and use various text features (e.g.,
    captions, bold print, subheadings, glossaries,
    indexes, electronic menus, icons) to locate key
    facts or information in a text efficiently.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • SL:  Speaking and Listening Standards K-\x80\x935
  • 2:  2nd Grade
  • 1a: 
    Participate in collaborative conversations with
    diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts
    with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    a. Follow agreed-upon rules for discussions (e.g.,
    gaining the floor in respectful ways, listening to
    others with care, speaking one at a time about
    the topics and texts under discussion).

    b. Build on others'\x80\x99 talk in conversations by linking
    their comments to the remarks of others.

    c. Ask for clarification and further explanation
    as needed about the topics and texts under

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

Informational Texts: Reading for Inquiry

Lesson Objective: Ask and answer questions to understand key details in informational texts
Grade 2 / ELA / Questioning
ELA.RI.2.1 | ELA.RI.2.5 | ELA.SL.2.1a


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Discussion and Supporting Materials

Thought starters

  1. How does Ms. Gavin help her students own the learning goal of the lesson?
  2. What strategies does Ms. Gavin use to scaffold the learning?
  3. How does this lesson build students' academic language?


  • Private message to Lisa Coder

I love how she prepares the students to learn and is really dialed into their discussions. Also, the fact that they are prsenting the information to the kinders is lovely. They become the experts on content.

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  • Private message to Amy Piccoli

1) Ms. Gavin helps her students own the learning goal of the lesson by having students first chant todays objective. Then partners talk to one another in their own words.

2) Strategies used are: They ask questions to help them understand what the text is about.  They share their partners answers to work on their listening skills. They also use sticky notes to help them think about what they are reading.

3) This lesson builds student academic language by the use of examplar texts and students breaking down the language/verbage in the objective.

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  • Private message to hilda Hernandez

Ms. Gavin encourages the children to use common core language and she explains it to them so they can own it and be able to learn.  She also models for them and shares the importance of self-monitoring so the students themselves will ask questions as they read on their own.

Also, Ms. Gavin has them share so they can discuss their "wonderings".  While they read independently, the students are expected to write down their questions on a sticky so this keeps them acountable to reading for comprehension.


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  • Private message to Elina Shariff

Great sharing . 

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  • Private message to faye bing
I love this video,the teacher ask them to share their partners questions and also using sticky notes to write any questions that they have after reading their book.
Recommended (0)


  • Informational Texts: Reading for Inquiry Transcript
    Nicole: 02:24: Shake it out a little bit. Take a deep breath. You guys

    Informational Texts: Reading for Inquiry Transcript
    Nicole: 02:24: Shake it out a little bit. Take a deep breath. You guys ready?
    Students: Yes.
    Nicole: Let's get ready to learn.
    Nicole: 02:41: All right, first thing we're going to do today is we are going to go over our objective for today. We are going to look at what we're going to practice today.
    Nicole: My name is Nicole Gavin, and I teach at William Peck elementary school. We are an urban school of about 600 students in Baltimore city. My class is a second grade class, and they are a mixture of a lot of ability levels. I have students who are reading on 4th and 5th grade levels, and students who are non-readers.
    Nicole: All right, the first thing we're going to do today is we are going to go over our objective for today.
    Nicole: 03:07: The name of the unit is informational text inquiry and writing a report. It is an EQuiP Exemplar for 2nd grade. The purpose of the whole unit is for students to examine an informational text, and use it to make an inquiry about a topic, and then the students are going to take the information they gained from the informational text and write a report to go down and present to the kindergarten.
    Nicole: Prior to today, we read Frog and Toad, and we read an informational frog book from National Geographic, and I love that it's used informational and fiction so you have two separate words and that they don't confuse it.
    Nicole: 03:41: Today's lesson is about asking and answering questions.
    Nicole: Today's objective, students will be able to demonstrate understanding of key details...
    Nicole: I think it's important for them to learn the Common Core language.
    Students: Demonstrate understanding of key details ...
    Nicole: These are the content words and the academic vocabulary that they're going to need as they progress from grade to grade.
    Nicole: 04:06: Now, I want you to think about that objective we just read.
    Nicole: I like them to try and partner talk through it and paraphrase into their own words.
    Nicole: In your own words, partner A, I want you to tell partner B what you're going to practice doing today.
    Nicole: Although those words are large for them, if you explain it, and you teach it to them, they can learn it, and they can own it, and that's going to help them later on.
    Student : 04:31: My partner said today we're going to read books and ask questions about the books.
    Nicole: Good. Because we know good readers ask questions when they read. Good readers think about what they're reading, like what does this word mean? On this chart, are a whole bunch of language frames or question starters that you might use when you're asking questions today. Okay? So I've got one here that says "Who." You know this one?
    Student: What. When. Where. Why. How.
    Nicole: 05:50: Excellent. Open your ears, put your thinking caps on and listen to this one. Why did the author say that? So sometimes when we ask questions, we're curious about what the author wants to tell us. What his or her message is.
    Nicole: You're teaching kids to self monitor.
    Nicole: Get ready to learn for me. Take a look at the board, and I'm going to show you some questions that I have as I read.
    Nicole: And then what I really like to do is model for them.
    Nicole: These colorful frogs may look pretty ...
    Nicole: They need to see it. They need to hear how someone walks through the process.
    Nicole: 05:31: But watch out! These frogs have poison in there skin. Their bright color warns enemies not to eat them. So, I was thinking about the author, and I wondered why does the author use the title, Watch Out? As I'm asking questions when I read, it's helping me to understand what the text is saying. Okay? All right. Let's try one and see if you guys can come up with one.
    Nicole: And then I want everybody to practice it together.
    Nicole: 06:00: Out popped the tadpoles. Tadpoles have tails. They live only in water. Take a minute and think of a question that you might have.
    Nicole: So, the kids will partner talk.
    Nicole: 06:34: What I ask them to do is share their partners answer to the question instead of their own, so that they're demonstrating their listening skills.
    Student: My partner's question was how does the baby tadpoles breathe in the water.
    Nicole: Ah, how do the breathe in the water? That's another great question. We're going to go into reading workshop. You and your group are going to get to practice with an informational text, Myron, so it's all going to be real.
    Nicole: Then we send them back into their cooperative groups.
    Student : 07:04: The feathers are so dry and fluffy.
    Nicole: Some things I asked them to do in their groups, one was they would use their sticky notes, and they would place them on the text and they would write their questions down. Our kids do a lot of fake reading, where they'll go through really fast, and they'll decode, but they don't read. It's really about getting them more to think about what they're reading, and really stopping to say okay, do I understand it, do I not understand it? And it's okay if I don't.
    Students: But the bee sting don't hurt
    Student : 07:41: My question is why does baby birds hatch from eggs?
    Nicole: Why did the baby birds hatch from eggs? So, tell me what in the text made you ask that question? What did the author show you or tell you about?
    Student : That birds, baby birds hatch from eggs?
    Nicole: Yeah. So they told you they hatch from eggs and you saw a picture? And you're wondering why eggs? That's a good question. So some of the answers we'll find as we keep reading. Some of them we actually have to go and look up.
    Nicole: 08:08: It's really important for them to internalize this idea of going back and finding the answer, or going back and re-reading for a different purpose.
    Nicole: So here's what we're going to do. When we share out, I want you to explain to the class what questions you have after reading your informational text today, and what facts you learned.
    Nicole: 08:27: The kids got up, I wanted them to share what text they read, since they all had different texts, and explain which animal it was. Then they were sharing the questions that they had about that texts, and then they were sharing any facts that they learned.
    Students: We read, we read skunks are the smelliest animals. Cause they give their [crosstalk]
    Nicole: 08:51: Can you give me an example of some of the questions that you came up with?
    Student : Okay. One of our questions was what is “immuney”.
    Nicole: What is ...
    Student 5: We didn't know that word.
    Nicole: You didn't even know the word, so you didn't know how to say it?
    Nicole: Immune. Good.
    Nicole: 9:15: So the questions that they ask will go up on a chart, and those are some of the questions that we're going to start using to categorize as we move forward. Which ones did we find the answers for, which ones did we not, so we can give them tools as to how I go back and get that information.
    Nicole: All right, you guys can go back.
    Nicole: We continue to pull facts.
    Nicole: 08:31: Just to let you know, tomorrow we are going to continue on with collecting our facts. You know we are going to be putting our book together for our kindergarten friends.
    Nicole: And then we move into the writing portion of that.
    Nicole: So soon, you guys are going to get to be the authors, and you're going to put all those little tricks in there to help the kindergartners learn about frogs.
    Nicole: 09:51: The exemplars have been great, and I really enjoy this one because I find that my students don't have a lot of exposure to informational texts, so this gives us an opportunity to build in the science, and the social studies, academic vocabulary that they need to move forward into the upper grades. Using the different exemplar lessons at all levels have been really great for the school.
    Nicole: 10:13: Good job. Put all your materials back.

School Details

William Paca Elementary School
200 North Lakewood Avenue
Baltimore MD 21224
Population: 561

Data Provided By:



Nicole Gavin


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