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The Everything Guide to Informational Texts, K-2

The Everything Guide to Informational Texts, K-2
Best Texts, Best Practices

Foreword by Timothy Shanahan

Additional resources:

March 2014 | 296 pages | Corwin

“Do monarch butterflies have a nose?” a kindergartener inquires.

“Does it rain on the moon?” a first-grader wonders.

“Does a white shark really produce 30 million teeth?”asks a second grader.

These incisive, critical quests for additional knowledge about the world are precisely what children do when the Common Core State Standards for informational texts go right in K-2. And with The Everything Guide to Informational Texts, the Common Core will go right in K-2.

Authors Kathy Barclay and Laura Stewart have written the book that teachers like you have been pleading for—a resource that delivers the “what I need to know Monday through Friday” to engage kids in a significant amount of informational text reading experiences. 

No filler, no lofty ideals about college and career readiness, but instead, the information on how to find lesson-worthy texts and create developmentally appropriate instructional plans that truly help young readers comprehend grade-level texts.

What you’ll love most:

  • The how-to’s on selecting stellar informational texts
  • High-impact comprehension strategies for nonfiction
  • Suggestions on providing sufficient challenge in guided reading, read alouds, and other practices
  • Model text lessons and lesson plan templates across each grade
  • An annotated list of 449 informational texts for read alouds, guided reading, and independent reading

It’s time to bring in to our classrooms all the high-quality informational texts that are available. It’s time to demonstrate to students how to read them, and to allow the authors of these children’s texts to take readers into rich, complex ideas they can handle with our support. If ever there were a book to quell our concern about how Common Core expectations will play out in grades K-2, this is it.

Foreword by Timothy Shanahan
Publisher's Acknowledgments
Chapter 1. New Standards, Timeless Goals: How Informational Texts Can Help Make Every Child a Reader
A Crash Course on the Common Core

The College and Career Readiness Anchor Standards for Reading

Naming the Skills Involved in Reading Nonfiction and Fiction

Where Do We Go From Here?

Chapter 2. Bringing Informational Texts Into Your Teaching
Goal 1: Expose Children to More Complex Texts

Goal 2: Pay More Attention to Oral Language

Goal 3: Be More Intentional

Goal 4: Differentiate Instruction

Goal 5: Explicitly Teach From the Text

Chapter 3. The How-To's of Selecting Stellar Texts
The New Nonfiction

Evaluating Format and Visual Appeal

Evaluating Accuracy and Authenticity

Evaluating Writing Style and Appropriateness for Young Children

Evaluating Potential Content and Curricular Connections

Chapter 4. The Top Ten: Focus on These High-Impact Comprehension Strategies
Teaching High-Impact Skills and Strategies for Comprehending Informational Text

Chapter 5. Demystifying What Makes Lessons Effective: The Lesson Plan Template
The Overarching Goal of Informational Text Lessons: Rigorous Text Experiences for All Students

The Four Lesson Steps

Chapter 6. Informational Text Read-Aloud Lessons in Kindergarten
The Common Core Standards for Informational Text Read-Alouds

Using the Lesson Plan Template for the Read-Aloud

Miss Webb's Kindergarten Class: A Sample Informational Text Read-Aloud Lesson

Chapter 7. Informational Text Lessons in First Grade
What's Different About First Grade?

Mrs. Stocker's First Graders: A Sample Informational Text Guided Reading Lesson

Chapter 8. Informational Text Lessons in Second Grade
What About Students Who Are Not Reading With Grade-Level Proficiency?

Mr. Morris's Second Graders: A Model Informational Text Guided Reading Lesson

Chapter 9. Embedding Informational Texts in Units of Study
An Interdisciplinary Focus

Planning Units of Study: Who Does What?

Selecting High-Quality Informational Literature for Units of Study

Concluding Thoughts

Appendix A. Checklist for Evaluating Informational Literature
Appendix B. Common Core State Standards (CCSS) Checklists
Kindergarten CCSS Checklist

First Grade CCSS Checklist

Second Grade CCSS Checklist

Appendix C. Lesson Plan Template
Appendix D. Topical List of Informational Literature
Appendix E. Annotated Bibliography of Children's Books


There was a time when a book like this would have set out to try to persuade teachers. But, that’s not the issue anymore. . . . Teachers everywhere are asking themselves, ‘How do I teach with informational texts?’ Kathy Barclay and Laura Stewart provide a rich collection of practical answers to that question. Their book can--through its practical lessons, advice, and guidance--show teachers how to make informational text a joyful reality in the lives of our youngest scholars.”

Timothy Shanahan, Distinguished Professor Emeritus, University of Illinois at Chicago
University of Illinois at Chicago

“Kathy Barclay and Laura Stewart have done a marvelous job of providing teachers with specific suggestions for making the most of informational texts--from choosing the right texts for students, to practical and effective instructional strategies that will help students engage in close reading of these important texts, to an actual lesson format for teaching informational texts. Teaching informational texts can be a challenge for primary grade teachers. The Everything Guide to Informational Texts will help teachers and students meet that challenge!”

Timothy Rasinski, Ph.D., Kent State University
Kent State University

“The book is well written, well organized, and teacher friendly. It addresses a topic--the use of informational text with younger students--that has not been sufficiently addressed in guidelines associated with the CCSS.  It contains valuable lists of children’s nonfiction texts, annotated and organized by grade level. The suggested lesson format is illustrated concretely with sample lesson plans based on high-quality informational texts.”

Louisa Moats, Ed.D., Contributing Writer of the Common Core State Standards

“For K-2 teachers eager to select and teach from ‘informational texts of substance,’ Barclay and Stewart offer much guidance. With keen insight, they also direct our pedagogical attention to the oft-overlooked, but tremendously powerful, text complexity essentials--oral language development, read aloud, and shared reading.”

Jan Miller Burkins, Author of Preventing Misguided Reading
Key features
The proposed text will provide teachers and prospective teachers of children in pre-kindergarten through grade two with an in-depth understanding of:
  • The Common Core Standards for Informational Literature
  • Characteristics of and criteria for selecting high quality informational text
  • Proven techniques for scaffolding beginning readers' mastery of the Common Core Standards for Informational Literature

Additional features:

  • A chart containing the Standards for Informational Literature for each grade level will illustrate the progression of knowledge and skills from PreK-2.
  • Text excerpts, sample lessons, and figures containing teacher tips for implementing differentiated instruction to scaffold students in the reading of grade level texts will enhance and support the narrative discussions.
  • An extensive annotated bibliography of informational books appropriate for use during read aloud experiences with young children.
  • Three chapters will include full color interior and exteriors of high quality children's books to illustrate important points

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ISBN: 9781452283050

ISBN: 9781452283104

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.