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Literature - EC: L.N.2.5.3

Literature - EC: L.N.2.5.3

Continuum of Activities

Continuum of Activities

The list below represents a continuum of activities: resources categorized by Standard/Eligible Content that teachers may use to move students toward proficiency. Using LEA curriculum and available materials and resources, teachers can customize the activity statements/questions for classroom use.

This continuum of activities offers:

  • Instructional activities designed to be integrated into planned lessons
  • Questions/activities that grow in complexity
  • Opportunities for differentiation for each student’s level of performance

Grade Levels


Course, Subject

English Language Arts, Literature


  1. Identify any structure or formatting used in a nonfiction text (titles, headings, underlined or bolded words) that signal essential information.

  2. Recall the definitions of essential and nonessential information.

  3. Summarize the main idea/purpose of a nonfiction text.

  4. Find at least two ideas that directly support the main idea of a nonfiction text and explain how they advance the author’s purpose.

  5. Think of five items that are important for going to school and five items that are just nice to have. Apply this concept to your nonfiction text. Identify and summarize the ideas that are the most important and the ideas that are just interesting and noteworthy.

  6. Analyze the nonessential information in a nonfiction text. Explain the effect of this information, even if it is not necessary to advancing the purpose of the text.

Answer Key/Rubric

  1. Students correctly identify any formatting tools used to draw attention to especially important information in a nonfiction text. These include, but are not limited to, titles, headings, lists, titles of graphics, charts, or any visuals.

  2. Students recall the definitions of essential and nonessential information in nonfiction. Essential information helps advance the author’s purpose, while nonessential provides other information, background, exposition or description. If nonessential information was removed from the text, the author would still be able to make his or her main point. To extend the exercise, have students come up with their own metaphor for these categories of information.

  3. Students correctly identify and explain the main idea of a nonfiction text. Students are able to explain, in speech or in writing, what the author’s purpose was in crafting the piece. This is a critical step in then being able to distinguish essential from nonessential within the body of nonfiction.

  4. Students identify two main points (paragraphs or ideas) that directly advance the author’s purpose. Students explain how these points/ideas advance, support, substantiate, or illustrate the text’s main idea. Without these two points, the purpose of the text could not have been fulfilled.

  5. Students apply the metaphor of what is essential for going to school (backpack, notebook, pens/pencils, assignment calendar, lunch) and what is nonessential, but nice to have (calculator, compass, ruler, pencil sharpener, highlighter). Students may have their own lists and some people may find some nonessential are essential for them and vice versa. Explain that this goes to how each student has different needs while at school, just as each text has its own purpose.

  6. Students identify and analyze the effect of nonessential information in a nonfiction text. Students analyze how nonessential information provides background information, builds reader engagement, or illustrates an idea. Students understand that while nonessential information does not necessarily advance the purpose, it does serve other purposes within the text.

Suggested Rubric:  This rubric may be used to assess a student’s overall mastery of the standard or eligible content.

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