Small Group Activities for Analyzing Text to Aid Comprehension

This extensive PDF provides tons of learning activities focused on text analysis. The activities are varied and address areas such as; fiction/nonfiction, cause and effect, inferences, fact and opinion, compare and contrast, and author's purpose. The activities include concise directions along with most support materials. Each instruction page provides an objective, material list, activity steps, sample, and suggestions for extensions or adaptations. The format is engaging and the activities are easy to implement in any classroom for practice, re-teaching, or challenge. These activities help children master reading strategies through text analysis. Students can complete these activities in small groups with or without an instructor. If you desire to use these as student led centers, you should prepare the centers for students ahead of time. It will also be important to provide direct instruction and/or modeling to get them started. (The instructions are written for the teacher.)


Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
GLE 0301.6.1
Apply appropriate reading strategies to comprehend informational texts.
GLE 0301.8.1
Use active comprehension strategies before, during, and after reading.
GLE 0701.4.4
Write a research paper, using primary and secondary sources and technology and graphics, as appropriate.
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
Learning objectives: 
  • The student will identify fiction and nonfiction text.
  • The student will identify facts and opinions.
  • The student will identify the relationship between cause and effect.
  • The student will identify similarities and differences between topics.
  • The student will identify inferences.
  • The student will identify the author's purpose.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Differentiation suggestions: 
  • Record books on a student sheet (Activity Master C.018.SS).
  • Select and sort other books from the class or school library.
  • Sort additional books by genre (e.g., biography, poetry, folktale, fairy tale).
  • Make other fact or opinion cards and sort using Fact and Opinion header cards
  • (Activity Master C.019.AM3).
  • Make more cause and effect cards to match and sort using header cards
  • (Activity Master C.020.AM2).
  • Play memory game with cause and effect cards.
  • Record on student sheet (Activity Master C.021.SS1).
  • Use graphic organizers to compare topics (Activity Masters C.021.SS2 and C.021.SS3).
  • Write a paragraph about the topic using the sorted cards.
  • Make other inference triangles and cards (Activity Master C.022.AM4).
  • Write other passage cards to sort.

Helpful Hints


  • Pocket chart
  • Fiction and Nonfiction header cards (Activity Master C.018.AM1)
  • Books
  • Fiction and nonfiction books.
  • Basket
  • Place books in the basket.
  • Index cards
  • Either prewrite titles of books on cards or leave blank for students to write titles.
  • Pencils or markers
  • Fact or opinion goal posts (Activity Master C.019.AM1)
  • Make two copies and laminate.
  • Fact or Opinion cards (Activity Master C.019.AM2a - C.019.AM2d)
  • Answers are provided on the card.
  • Cause and effect cards (Activity Master C.020.AM1a - C.020.AM1c) 
  • Reference materials (e.g., texts, encyclopedia, dictionary, thesaurus)
  • Choose text within students’ instructional-independent reading level range.
  • Large index cards
  • Label two cards with target words or topics.
  • Write the word SAME on an index card.
  • Small index cards
  • Pencils or markers
  • Inference triangles (Activity Master C.022.AM1a - C.022.AM1b)
  • Inference cards (Activity Master C.022.AM2a - C.022.AM2c)
  • Answer key (Activity Master C.022.AM3a - C.022.AM3b)
  • An answer key is provided.
  • Game pieces (e.g., counters)
  • Header cards (Activity Master C.023.AM1)
  • Passage cards (Activity Master C.023.AM2a - C.023.AM2b)
  • If text in this activity is not appropriate for your students, use text that is more applicable.
  • Note: The numbers of the cards correspond to headers in the following manner:
  • Persuade - 3, 8, 1, 5; Inform - 2, 9, 12, 7; Entertain - 10, 11, 4, 6.