How To Support Informational Texts Blog730x398

How to support informational texts in the classroom

Informational text, I am certain you have heard those two words a time or two, but what do they mean? Informational text is factual information written to teach the reader about a certain topic, event, or idea. Informational texts have continued to gain steam as valuable resources for education among students of all ages, but where do I find them? You will find them frequently written in the form of news articles, standardized tests, and some newer reading curriculums just to name a few examples. As a veteran teacher, I have found it difficult to locate informational texts my fifth-grade students will enjoy. Research shows that analyzing, evaluating, and reading informational texts help engage students while also equipping them with college and career readiness skills. In short, informational texts help students develop a better sense of understanding things in the world around them.

Informational and non-fiction texts allow students to learn in a far more in-depth manner than I ever did as a kid. Students have so much information right at their fingertips. Back in my day, informational texts were looked up in a card catalog in the library once a week and my news source was the small local paper and Dan Rather every evening. Today students can look anything up and have multiple sources for their information all in seconds. Times are changing, so we need to change and adapt, too. 

So, how can YOU meet the needs of using informational texts in the classroom? Flocabulary has so many options to enrich your lessons. Flocabulary is engaging and catchy. Oh and the best part, it is kid approved. When I asked my students what they liked about Flocabulary, “the raps and music” were hands down their favorite. Also, “the creativity in the music and they actually still teach you. Win. Win.” (Hadden – age 11). I have found Flocabulary meets the needs of all of my learners. My ESL students have shown the most growth this year. “I like it because I learn a lot” (Alexander – age 11). He isn’t wrong. I credit Flocabulary for helping increase reading comprehension and vocabulary. Between the video, vocab cards, vocab game, read and respond activity, quiz, and lyric lab all of the bases are covered. All of the listed items are also available for each lesson both in an online option or a print option! This is a great way to reach the various learning styles in my classroom and have their needs met. Read and Respond lessons are super helpful when preparing for standardized tests. The Read and Respond questions are helpful because like the quiz, they will give students an explanation if they are wrong or right. It is a great resource to give students extra practice on a given topic.

Flocabulary has so many options across all subject areas. The grade-level span is from K-12, which is super helpful. My students still appreciate the videos made for lower elementary, too. If you need a video about text structure, you’ve got it. Need a video about finding theme, done. There are lessons for science, social studies, math, and more. A favorite subject of mine that can be really tricky to teach is current events. News is tough because there isn’t much in current events that would classify as good news. Flocabulary has Week in Rap, which teaches the news at an appropriate level for kids. To ensure my students are engaged, but learning about real life events they can watch Week in Rap Junior (done for grades 3-5). Week in Rap is a great resource for kids to get real news made for them to understand. Week in Rap also offers the same lesson options as others, which really helps with the dreaded standardized tests.

If you need any more reason to check out Flocabulary, take advice from my students. “They do a great job making songs” (Aidan – age 11). I noted 91% of my students showed growth in math this year. These stats come from our district-wide computer assessment. I used more Flocabulary this year for math. Can Flocabulary take all of the credit, maybe not, BUT it should get a portion of it for sure. And this child is 100% correct, “it’s good fun and I think everyone should try it” (Jesus – age 11). 

In the end, I hope I have sparked a curiosity for you to give Flocabulary a chance when trying to find engaging informational text lessons. I am also certain you won’t regret it. Flocabulary is an amazing resource that has so many options for analyzing and evaluating informational texts across curriculums. All in all, you and your students will love this resource because it teaches various learning styles and it is fun. If my 5th-grade students agree, so will you. I leave you with this final quote, from one of my students when asked what they would like to say to Flocabulary people about their program. “That whoever made it thanks cause it’s awesome.” (Audra – age11)

Cheryl Van Laeken

Cheryl is a 5th-grade elementary school teacher in northern Indiana. She has been teaching for 16 years. While she has taught self-contained and middle school English Language Arts reading and literacy is her passion. She currently teaches kids both in-person and virtually. She is always looking for ways to engage her students with new and exciting programs.