Lessons & Units :: Genre 2nd Grade Unit

Lesson 3: Encyclopedias

Lesson Plan

Children's Illustrated Encyclopedia

Children's Illustrated Encyclopedia
Learning Goal
Use guide words in an encyclopedia to locate a subject.
Identify information learned about a subject in an encyclopedia.
Approximately 50 minutes
Necessary Materials
Provided: Independent Practice Worksheet
Not Provided: Children’s Illustrated Encyclopedia edited by Jayne Parsons
  • Teacher Modeling

    will explain to students that we have learned that nonfiction texts are factual and full of information. We know that we read nonfiction to gather information/facts or to learn more about a topic. One type of nonfiction text that makes information gathering easy is an encyclopedia. An encyclopedia contains factual information about a variety of different topics. The information is arranged alphabetically and the top of each page has guide words to help us locate topics easily. I will model how to use the guide words and bold words to locate a subject (teacher chosen) in the Children’s Illustrated Encyclopedia edited by Jayne Parsons. I will read the information and discuss what I learn about that subject.

    TIP: Choose topics for your students to locate in the encyclopedia based on what they are currently learning about in science, social studies, current events, or other topics of student interest.

  • Think Check

    Ask: How did I learn new information using an encyclopedia? Students should respond that you first identified a topic you wanted to learn more about. Then, you used the guide words on the top of the page to find the correct page that has information about your topic. You then read about the topic.

  • Guided Practice

    will use guide words to locate another subject in an encyclopedia (teacher chosen). We will read it and discuss what we learn about the subject.

  • Independent Practice

    will use guide words to locate a new subject in the encyclopedia. You will read and write down what you learn about the subject. (Student Independent Practice is provided in Teacher and Student Materials below.)

Build Student Background Knowledge

After teaching the lesson, explain to students that encyclopedias are a type of informational text called "Reference Materials." Reference materials include dictionaries, thesauruses, encyclopedias, and atlases/maps. We do not read these materials cover to cover, like we read a nonfiction text. We use these materials to find a fact or learn the meaning of a word or idea.

Texts & Materials

Standards Alignment

(To see all of the ReadWorks lessons aligned to your standards, click here.)

User Comments

Great information on how to teach the features of fiction and non-fiction texts.