Informational Text




The primary purpose of informational text is to convey information about a specific topic. Informational text-based reading material includes newspaper and magazine articles, textbooks, digital information, nonfiction trade books, and reference and instruction materials.

According to Common Core State Standards (CCSS), preparation for reading informational texts should begin at the earliest elementary school grades: “Having students listen to informational read-alouds in the early grades helps lay the necessary foundation for students’ reading and understanding of increasingly complex texts on their own in subsequent grades.”

Read MoreRead Less

There are four types of informational text: narrative (essays, biographies, memoirs, correspondence); expository (textbooks, government documents); argument or persuasion (opinion pieces, speeches, legal documents); and instructional or procedural (guidelines that describe how to complete a task, such as manuals or contracts).

Select informational texts around topics that develop students’ knowledge base. There should be enough material on a topic to allow study of that topic for a sustained period. The knowledge learned in early grade levels should then be expanded and developed in higher grade levels for increasingly deeper understanding of these topics.

Students’ ability to comprehend information across texts is important in critical reading and thinking. Informational text is key to success in later schooling; in Grade 4 and higher, students encounter more textbooks and other forms of informational text, and tests will include increasingly more difficult informational text-based vocabulary.

Students’ exposure to informational text begins in kindergarten, when they should be able to identify the front cover, back cover, and title page of a book. First graders should be able to ask and answer questions about key details in a text. Grade 2 students are expected to ask and answer questions on who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text. Grade 3 students should be able to compare and contrast the most important points and key details presented in two texts on the same topic. By Grade 5, students are expected to quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says.

VocabularySpellingCity information text word lists are from works recommended by the CCSS, and divided into text complexity grade bands: K-1, 2-3, 4-5, 6-8, and 9-10.

View the Common Core State Standards Related to Informational TextClose

Common Core State Standards Related to Informational Text

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.10
With prompting and support, read informational texts appropriately complex for grade 1.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.10
By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 2-3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.10
By the end of year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in the grades 4-5 text complexity band proficiently, with scaffolding as needed at the high end of the range.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.9b
Apply grade 4 Reading standards to informational texts (e.g., “Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in a text”).

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.9
Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

VocabularySpellingCity.com provides word lists, printables, and interactive games and activities that give students the opportunity to use informational text.

Try Sentence Writing Practice with a Grades 2-3 Informational Text list.