Unit 4 - Analyzing Informational Texts

Rationale: This unit bundles student expectations that address word study, reading and writing of expository and procedural texts. The goal of this unit is to provide students the skills to analyze and use information in procedural and expository text by making inferences and drawing complex conclusions about ideas presented. Analysis of informational texts facilitates the understanding and use of unique structures and organizational patterns in reading and writing. Various forms of literary works and information texts continue to provide the avenue for the practice of making inferences, summarizing, synthesizing, and providing textual evidence during reading. Students examine teacher-selected and student-selected literature based on individual interests and abilities, providing opportunities for important personal and world connections within and across different contexts and genres. An emphasis on the integration of listening, reading, and writing skills allow the continued development of processes while providing a foundation for college and career readiness. Reading and analyzing an array of texts supports students’ understanding and use of the unique structures, organizational patterns, and features in their own writing. Students continue to examine teacher selected and student selected text based on individual interests and abilities.

Examples of Informational/Expository Texts:

1. Newspapers
2. Brochures
3. Advertisements
4. Magazines
5. Procedural Manuals
6. Scholarly Journals
7. Maps/Atlases
8. Textbooks
9. Guides (entertainment, health, restaurant, etc.)
10. Biographies

Purpose of Informational/Expository Texts:

1. Inform
2. Explain
3. Describe
4. Define
5. Persuade

Types of Expository Texts:

1. Chronological (sequence or time order)
2. Hierarchical (classifications and listings)
3. Compare and Contrast
4. Cause and Effect
5. Pros and Cons
6. Problem and Solution
7. Enumeration (listing, ranking, classifying)

Key Vocabulary Words:

1. Summary – to reduce large sections of text to their essential points and main ideas. Note: It is still important to attribute summarized ideas to the
2. Critique – holds and/or expresses opinions, takes a position
3. Opinion – a personal belief, view, or judgment
4. Substantiated – verified , proven, confirmed
5. Unsubstantiated – has not been verified, proven, or confirmed
6. Expository - a type of writing, the purpose of which is to inform, explain, describe, or define the author's subject to the reader
7. Inference - a determination arrived at by reasoning; using facts to arrive at a broader conclusion
8. Logic - the branch of philosophy that analyzes inference
9. Credible - offering reasonable grounds for being believed
10.Enumeration - to specify one after another
11.Chronological - of, relating to, or arranged in or according to the order of time
12. Hierarchy - a logical structure that classifies information in a series of steps, starting with broad, simple classifications, and proceeding, in stages, to narrow, precise classifications
13. Overstatement -
14. Hyperbole -
15. Irony -
16. Figurative Language -
17. Analogy -

Note: Additional vocabulary terms will be included for EACH reading and writing assignment. Be sure to include all of the assigned words in your Vocabulary Word document. You NEED to know all of these words and the best way to learn these words is, well, to begin using each. I expect that, as you write on your blog, you will begin using some of these words. Don't worry about context right now; I will help you. Effort is what matters! We can tweak the results, ensure you learn each word's correct usage, and demonstrate that your personal vocabulary grows with each passing week and month.


1. Read Alexa Garcia-Ditta's blog post "Texas 34th in Child Well-being, New Data Shows"
  • Complete the
  • Re-post the article on your blog, including a one-paragraph response to the article
  • Research this topic in greater detail (though you may focus less on current events)
  • Write three paragraphs about this topic, including sources (quotations, proper attribution, etc.)
  • Create a video that informs viewers about this topic, using your research for assistance (three-minute video)


2. Read "Description of a Washington D.C. Slave Pen"

external image Slave_pen_exterior.jpg
The exterior of the Slave Pen, the focal point of the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, 11/5/2004, by Rick Dikeman

3. Read "Slavery and Indentured Servants"

Runaway reward posterSlaveShipBrookes.jpg

external image map.slave.trade.jpg
Source: Princeton University's __Mapping Globalization__

4A. Read "American History" by Judith Ortiz Cofer (9th Grade Literature Textbook, p. 964-973)
  • In a Word document, answer the Comprehension Questions (top of p. 974)
  • Add the identified vocabulary words (with definitions) to your growing Vocabulary Document (top-right of p. 975)

4B. Read "Special Report" by Kenneth Walsh (9th Grade Literature Textbook, p. 977-978)

5. Read the entire KRS-One interview from the Tavis Smiley Show (2004)
  • Complete a (Note: Please visit with me BEFORE you start this written assignment.)
  • Choose a Rap/Hip-Hop topic to research, prepare interview materials (questions, images, etc.), and visit with four other students
  • Record your interviewer's answers in a Word document, create a graph (use Microsoft Word) that accounts for the answers you recorded, and publish the results on your blog
  • Create a PowerPoint presentation with your notes, recorded answers, and images, which you will present to the class

6. Read "Graduation Is the Goal, Staying Alive the Prize" by Susan Saulny
  • Write a three-page response to the article: writer's purpose, information discussed, your viewpoint, personal experiences, and more
  • Essay Rubric and Assignment Expectations with Directions sheets (Complete)