Explaining Information Found in Texts: Lesson for Kids

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  • 0:04 What Is an Informational Text?
  • 1:29 Explaining Informational Texts
  • 3:00 Some Simple Practice
  • 4:22 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Tawnya Eash

Tawnya has a master's degree in early childhood education and teaches all subjects at an elementary school.

How could you teach yourself the process of digestion? One way is to read informational texts such as a science book. In this lesson, you'll learn how to understand and explain important information from non-fiction texts.

What Is an Informational Text?

First, before we get started with learning about informational text, let's look at an example:

Do you know why koalas are almost endangered?

The koala is close to being an endangered species. Some of the blame for the decrease in numbers goes to the koala itself. Koalas are picky eaters. They live in tall eucalyptus trees and eat leaves. There are over 600 different types of eucalyptus trees, but koalas only eat leaves from specific types. Some koalas eat as little as four to 120 of the 600 types of eucalyptus trees.

After reading this informational text on koalas, you should be able to describe what's happening and why. Informational texts give you real facts. There are many types of informational texts that relay important information. Some examples of information texts include the following:

Informational Texts
Science, social studies, or other textbooks
Trade books
Autobiographies and biographies
Narrative nonfiction
Reference materials, like information on the internet

You can use informational texts to help you understand more about a topic or to learn something new. Let's now take a look at how you can understand and explain information through texts.

Explaining Informational Texts

Before you're able to explain information in nonfiction texts, you have to find it! This can be a challenge because some informational texts can be difficult to understand. Check out these tips to help you find and comprehend content:

  • Step 1: Reread sections.
  • Step 2: Look for clue words, such as definitions or explanations.
  • Step 3: Pay attention to text features. This chart shows text features found in informational texts. As you can see, this can include words appearing in bold font or highlighted outright. This can also include pictures, and diagrams, like this one:

Text features

Sometimes it's as simple as a map, or how the text is formatted with headings.

  • Step 4: Find the main idea or what the text is mostly about.

After you find and understand the information, how do you explain it? To explain the content you've learned, you retell the information you read. Use your own words to describe what's happening and why. Feel free to refer back to the original text when needed.

  • Previous example: koalas
    • What Is Happening?: Koalas are at risk of becoming endangered. Because they're picky eaters, they cause trouble for themselves.
    • Why?: There are more than 600 different eucalyptus trees out there to eat, but koalas only eat from four to 120 of them.

Pretty simple, right?

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