I Used My Own Words! Paraphrasing Informational Texts

Paraphrasing helps students make connections with prior knowledge, demonstrate comprehension, and remember what they have read. Through careful explanation and thorough modeling by the teacher in this lesson, students learn to use paraphrasing to monitor their comprehension and acquire new information. They also realize that if they cannot paraphrase after reading, they need to go back and reread to clarify information. In pairs, students engage in guided practice so that they can learn to use the strategy independently. Students will need prompting and encouragement to use this strategy after the initial instruction is completed. The lesson can be extended to help students prepare to write reports about particular topics.

Standards & Objectives

Learning objectives: 

Students will:

Demonstrate comprehension by paraphrasing facts from informational texts

Gain knowledge and apply what they have learned about paraphrasing by reading information about three unusual animals

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Extension suggestions: 

Paraphrasing is a good way to prepare students to write written reports. When students put information into their own words, they are not copying directly from a text. After the previous four sessions, a possible extension would be to identify another topic (such as countries, planets, plants), have students brainstorm what kind of questions would be interesting to answer about these, assign print materials or websites for students to read and paraphrase, take notes to answer the questions, and prepare written reports. These would be more formal than the quick writes that were done in the paraphrasing sessions.

Helpful Hints

Materials needed:

  • Computers with Internet access
  • Whiteboard (or overhead) for projection of text and shared writing
  • Print or digital texts on instructional levels of students in the class
  • Individual copies of texts (if computers are not available)