● Identify the central idea and key details of an informational text
● Create text features to enhance an informational text
● Over-the-Counter Medicine Safety Classroom Poster printable
● Informational Text Features printable
● The Ins and Outs of Medicine Safety printable article
Emphasize to students that they should never take medicine without the supervision of a parent or trusted adult.
Make copies of the printables for each student in your class.
Step 1: Tell students that they will be reading an article about medicine safety. Ask them what they already know about the topic of medicine, such as the purposes of medicines, types of medicines, medicine safety, etc. Create a word splash on the board to record students’ ideas.
Step 2: After students brainstorm their ideas, be sure to inform students that they should only take medicine with the supervision of a parent or trusted adult.
Step 3: Explain that students are going to read an article about medicine safety. The author has used a variety of text structures and techniques to engage the reader, but students will need to think about ways to strengthen the article.
Step 4: Review the common informational text structures. Encourage students to brainstorm signal words that may indicate each type of text structure.
- Description: defines or describes a person, place, thing, or idea; signal words include is, are, include, composed of
- Sequence: explains the order of events or steps in a process; signal words include words first, next, then, after, finally
- Cause/Effect: explains why an event happens and what happens as a result; signal words include because, since, as a result, therefore
- Problem/Solution: describes a problem and proposes one or more solutions; signal words include challenge, issue, solve, fix
- Compare/Contrast: describes the similarities and differences between two items or concepts; signal words include like, similarly, on the other hand, in contrast
Step 5: Have students brainstorm ways that authors can get readers interested in a topic, then share with a partner. Possible responses include:
- Using surprising facts or statistics
- Sharing personal stories
- Talking directly to the reader
- Referring to familiar stories or examples
- Including a call to action
- Incorporating quotations from experts
If needed, create a list of responses on chart paper for students to reference when completing the next activity.
Step 6: Distribute the The Ins and Outs of Medicine Safety printable article. Students should imagine that they are editors who are preparing the article to be published. They want to make sure that the structure of the text will help readers understand the key ideas in the article and to make suggestions for better engaging readers
Step 7: After students have finished reading the The Ins and Outs of Medicine Safety printable article, ask them to complete the accompanying activity sheet. They will need to answer a series of critical-thinking questions on the content of the article and cite appropriate evidence.
Supporting All Learners
If necessary, provide students who need more support with options for the text features using the Chart of Text Feature Options printable.
- Explain to students that they will now have a chance to create a public service announcement (PSA) or poster to share the key information from the article and worksheet printable with the rest of the school community. If desired, provide examples and templates from the “Spread the Word” section of the OTC Medicine Safety community page.
- Explain that some PSAs or posters will be selected to hang in the nurse’s office, main office, or hallway. For students who find competition invigorating, this activity could culminate in a class vote for the top entry, or top five entries, to be showcased (especially if wall space is at a premium). Alternately, a new group of posters could be showcased each week until all entries have had a chance to be in the spotlight.