Cluster 2: Craft and Structure

General Information
Number: LAFS.8.RI.2
Title: Craft and Structure
Type: Cluster
Subject: English Language Arts
Grade: 8
Strand: Reading Standards for Informational Text

Related Standards

This cluster includes the following benchmarks.

Related Access Points

This cluster includes the following access points.

Access Points

LAFS.8.RI.2.AP.4a
Identify and interpret an analogy within a text.
LAFS.8.RI.2.AP.4b
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative (i.e., metaphors, similes and idioms) and connotative meanings.
LAFS.8.RI.2.AP.4c
Analyze how the use of figurative, connotative or technical terms affects the meaning or tone of text.
LAFS.8.RI.2.AP.5a
Use signal words as a means of locating information.
LAFS.8.RI.2.AP.5b
Outline the structure (i.e., sentence that identifies key concept(s), supporting details) within a paragraph.
LAFS.8.RI.2.AP.5c
Determine the structure of a text (e.g., chronological order, compare/contrast, cause/effect, problem/solution).
LAFS.8.RI.2.AP.5d
Determine how the information in each section contributes to the whole or to the development of ideas.
LAFS.8.RI.2.AP.6a
Determine an author’s purpose for writing the text.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this topic.

Lesson Plans

The Link between Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration:

This is a lesson that addresses standards and misconceptions associated with Big Idea 18 about Matter and Energy Transformations as related to photosynthesis and cellular respiration. The lesson also embeds a review of other related standards for which the students possesses prior knowledge. The lesson is vertically aligned to review classification of organisms, taxonomy, and build from related introductory activities into learning about cell types, organelles and their structures, and functions, with an emphasis on the chloroplast and the mitochondrion and their role in photosynthesis and cellular respiration. The lesson scaffolds text coding, note taking, charting, answering media dependent questions and culminates in a summative written essay assessment. An alternative short response exam has been included which could be used as an exam or the questions could be used as formative questions throughout the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Exploring the Future of NASA:

In this lesson, students will read and analyze two nonfiction articles and watch a short video about work at NASA--information includes the retiring of the space shuttle program and possible goals and missions in the future, including ideas for space shuttle replacements and capturing asteroids. Text-dependent questions and answer keys are provided for both articles. At the end of the lesson, students will make a written claim regarding NASA's future plans for space exploration and research, citing evidence from both articles and the video to support their claim. A rubric for the writing assessment is also included. 

Type: Lesson Plan

Thank You, Mr. Lincoln!:

This web resource from the Civil War Trust will engage students through an analysis of primary source documents as they work to discuss the meaning and significance of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Type: Lesson Plan

One for All? Or Not. A Close Read of Distresses of a Frontier Man:

This lesson is based on Letter XII: Distresses of a Frontier Man by J. Hector St. John de Crevecoeur. This "letter" is one of a collection of essays in an epistolary format from the collection, Letters from an American Farmer (1782). In this lesson, students will focus on using various vocabulary strategies to decode challenging vocabulary words from the text. To assist in comprehension, students will read and analyze the text through a chunking strategy where they will participate in text-marking, summarizing, and answering text-dependent questions. The culminating assignment will allow students to develop an argumentative written response that is supported by the text.

Type: Lesson Plan

Forever Alive:

In this close reading lesson, students will be asked to use multiple strategies to respond to informational text in way that is aligned to the state standards, requiring that they respond with explicit details drawn from the passage. With this short, free-standing article, teachers can incorporate this mini-lesson into their already set curriculum to reinforce the standards and skills being taught. This lesson would also make an excellent small group resource. Attachments needed for this lesson are all provided and include text-dependent questions, graphic organizers, and an objective summary writing prompt with rubric.

Type: Lesson Plan

Remembering D-Day: A Close Reading Lesson:

This is a close reading lesson based on the article "Remembering the D-Day Invasion with Salutes, Tears and Friendship." This article focuses on the anniversary of D-Day and the effect it had on soldiers and civilians who experienced the attack. This lesson provides an opportunity for close reading, vocabulary acquisition, and writing a summary. A vocabulary organizer and key, text-dependent questions and keys, and a writing rubric have been included.

Type: Lesson Plan

Run For Your Life!:

Based on a student-focused scenario encouraging healthier lifestyles, students will perform a close and careful reading of an article encouraging active and healthy lifestyles. During the lesson, students will analyze data from Consumer Reports comparing and contrasting treadmills and elliptical exercisers. Using information gathered, students will compile data and persuade administrators to buy equipment that will align with the provided budget and fit in the given space.

Type: Lesson Plan

Teaching Tolerance: Mary Church Terrell:

This is a Teaching Tolerance lesson centering on Mary Church Terrell. The text shows the role of Mary Church Terrell and the NACW in working for civil rights in the decades before the modern civil rights movement. This lesson is very strong in vocabulary development (including using both context clues and word parts to determine meaning), summarizing, and author's purpose and perspective. The lesson could be used in either Language Arts or Social Studies classrooms and lends itself well to further research.

Type: Lesson Plan

What is Normal? Exploring Connotations and Denotations:

The goal of this lesson is to give students the opportunity to explore the connotations and denotations of the word "normal" and its various meanings. Through the use of "Us and Them," a personal essay by David Sedaris, students will explore the various beliefs and points of view of "normal" based on the picture painted by Sedaris. Students will need to consider the emotional context of words and how diction reveals an author's tone and message, as well as how the use of irony can impact the tone of a piece. Students will also read and analyze a Time article, "An In-Depth View of America by the Numbers," by Nancy Gibbs. For the summative assessment, students will write an explanatory essay (several prompts are provided) about normality using evidence from the texts studied in the lesson for support.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading Exemplar: Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass:

The goal of this two to three day exemplar is to give students the opportunity to explore the point of view of a man who survived slavery. By reading and rereading the passage closely, combined with classroom discussion about it, students will explore the various beliefs and points of view Douglass experienced as he became increasingly aware of the unfairness of his life. Students will need to consider the emotional context of words and how diction (word choice) affects an author's message. When combined with writing about the passage and teacher feedback, students will form a deeper understanding of how slavery affected those involved.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading Exemplar: The Long Night of Little Boats:

In this lesson, students will analyze a rich literary nonfiction text illustrating the rescue of British soldiers at Dunkirk in 1940. Through use of repeated readings, text dependent questions, class discussion, and two writing tasks, students will examine the miraculous nature of what happened at Dunkirk and how shared human values played a part in the outcome of this event. This lesson was designed originally for use in a middle school Social Studies curriculum, where teaching students to go beneath a surface understanding of historical events is at a premium. Although this exemplar was designed to be used in a middle school Social Studies curriculum, it is appropriate for use in an ELA class as well.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorials

Word Scholar: Using Context Clues:

Identify and apply context clues, including synonyms, antonyms, and inferences, to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words in passages about the life of Frederick Douglass with this interactive tutorial. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Read Between the Lines: Understanding Analogies and Allusions:

Learn how authors use allusions and analogies within informational texts. In this interactive tutorial, you'll practice identifying analogies and allusions used in context to better understand their purpose. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Structures and Skeletons:

Learn about four common text structures that often are often used in informational texts: chronological order, compare and contrast, problem/solution, and cause and effect. In this interactive tutorial, you'll practice identifying each type of text structure while reading several informational texts about dinosaurs. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Original Student Tutorials

Word Scholar: Using Context Clues:

Identify and apply context clues, including synonyms, antonyms, and inferences, to determine the meaning of unfamiliar words in passages about the life of Frederick Douglass with this interactive tutorial. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Read Between the Lines: Understanding Analogies and Allusions:

Learn how authors use allusions and analogies within informational texts. In this interactive tutorial, you'll practice identifying analogies and allusions used in context to better understand their purpose. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Structures and Skeletons:

Learn about four common text structures that often are often used in informational texts: chronological order, compare and contrast, problem/solution, and cause and effect. In this interactive tutorial, you'll practice identifying each type of text structure while reading several informational texts about dinosaurs. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this topic.