Illustrations in Informational Texts
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Basics on the topic Illustrations in Informational Texts
Learn about illustrations in informational tests and how the illustrations in an informational text can be useful through a video, activities, and worksheets.
Illustrations in Informational Texts – Introduction
Informational texts can include textbooks, history books, science books, autobiographies, and technical texts. When reading these texts, we often come across illustrations.
Using illustrations in literature to understand the text is essential. Illustrations in informational texts can either give us clues about the text itself, or show us something that the text cannot tell us.
Types of Illustrations in Informational Texts
There are several types of illustrations that are common for informational texts.
Photographs can help you visualize things realistically as they are or were. For example, if the text is about a famous person, a photograph of that person can help visualize what that person looked like.
Maps can help you visualize locations or the appearance of areas. For example, when reading the text about the geography of the United States, it is very likely that you will come across the map of the USA. It will help you see where different states and major cities are located.
Diagrams can show you parts and how to assemble them. For example, in an instructional text about how to assemble a piece of furniture, there will be diagrams with step-by-step visual instructions on where each part is supposed to go.
Graphs show data in an easy-to-read format. For example, it is very likely that the text about books that students prefer reading, will include a graph that will show the correlation between the number of students questioned and the genre preference.
When coming across an illustration in a text, we should always ask ourselves, “What does this illustration show me?” This will help you with connecting words and pictures in informational texts.
Illustrations in Informational Texts – Examples and Practice
Now, let’s practice! Take a look at this illustration and think about how it would help you better understand the text about the way humans breathe:
This illustration is the diagram that shows parts of our body involved in breathing. With the help of this image, we can better visualize the process of breathing and understand which specific organs the text is talking about.
Take a look at another illustration, taken from the text about color preference among the students:
This illustration is a graph. It shows data on color preference in an easy-to-read format. With the help of this graph, we can see how many students like yellow, red, and blue colors.
Illustrations in Informational Texts – Summary
Let’s review what we have learned about illustrations in informational texts.
- Using illustrations in a text helps the authors either give us clues about the text or show us something that the text can’t.
- The most common types of illustrations in a text are photographs, maps, diagrams, and graphs.
| help visualize things
as they are or were
| help visualize locations
or the appearance of areas
| show parts and
how to assemble them
| show data in an
- You should study illustrations closely and ask yourself, “What does this illustration tell me?” to build connections between the text and the picture.
Now you know how illustrations help the reader, and how we can use the illustrations and details in a text to describe its key ideas. To practice connecting words and pictures in informational text, use our worksheets and watch our video about
Frequently Asked Questions about Illustrations in Informational Texts
Illustrations are images that can be found in a text.
Authors use illustrations to either give us clues about the text itself, or show us something that the text cannot tell us.
There are different types of illustrations used in informational texts: photographs, maps, diagrams, and graphs.
Authors use diagrams to present data in an easy-to-read format.
Transcript Illustrations in Informational Texts
"They looks stranded, Pearl. Can we help them fix their hovercraft?" "I think so. I have a how-to book on repairing them!" While Otis and Pearl look at the book, let's learn about illustrations in informational texts. Informational texts can include history books, science books, autobiographies, and technical texts. In these kind of texts, illustrations are important. They can either give us clues about the text itself, or show us something that the text cannot tell us! Illustrations you find in informational texts include things such as photographs, which help you visualize things as they are or were, maps, which help you see locations or how areas look, diagrams, which can show you parts and how to assemble them, and graphs, which show you data in an easy-to-read format! So, why should we always look at illustrations? They can help you further understand the topic that you are reading or learning about! Let's look with Otis and Pearl at how to fix hovercrafts now. "Here is the illustration on this page. It is a diagram!" "What does this illustration tell us?" If we study the illustration carefully, here it tells us the number of screws that we need for the fan of the hovercraft. And here, these arrows show us where we need to attach the fan. From this information, we know this diagram shows us how to attach the fan back to the hovercraft. This helps us a lot because it allows us to see exactly what this section of text next to the diagram is explaining. Otis and Pearl have finished reading the diagram, so they continue looking through the book. "Oh, look! Another illustration!" "What type of illustration is this one?" "It is a photograph of a hovercraft!" What information does this give us? All it shows is a finished hovercraft, so we can look at the text on the page for more information or clues. The heading says the finished hovercraft, so we know this photograph shows us what the hovercraft should look like! When we look at the photograph of the finished hovercraft, and the one Pearl and Otis just finished repairing, they look similar. While Pearl and Otis help the stranded stranger get on their way, let's review! Remember, illustrations you find in informational texts include things such as photographs, maps, diagrams, and graphs. You should study illustrations closely and always ask yourself, "What does this illustration tell me?" Illustrations sometimes tell, or show, things that the text doesn't. "Well, I would say that was a success!" "Pearl, where did this screw come from?" "Oh no! We probably should have looked more closely at the diagram!"
Illustrations in Informational Texts exercise
What are informational texts?Hints
An informational text cannot be fictional.
There are 4 correct choices and 2 false.Solution
Informational texts can be
- History books or articles
- Science books or articles
- Technical texts
What type of illustrations are used with informational texts?Hints
Illustrations for informational texts help people to better understand what they are reading about. What types of illustrations can help you understand new information?
An informational text cannot be fictional. Illustrations for informational texts must show real and factual information.Solution
Illustrations for informational texts can be:
- Abstract art
- Fantasy art
How do illustrations help us learn?Hints
When reading a text, it can be hard to see the information you are reading in your head. How does each type of illustration help you learn?
Sometimes it is important to compare information or understand changes. What type of illustration shows this and how?
When trying to follow directions, it can be difficult if you cannot see the whole area. How do maps help you find the way to go?Solution
- Photographs of real life help you visualize things as they are or were.
- Diagrams can show you parts and how to assemble them.
- Graphs show data in an easy-to-read format.
- Maps help you see locations or how areas look.
What can we learn from this diagram?Hints
Illustrations for informational texts help people to better understand what they are reading about. What information can you understand from looking at this illustration?
What part of the body is mentioned in the choices but missing from the diagram?
There are 3 correct choices, and 2 false.Solution
From this diagram, you can learn:
- The parts of the body involved in breathing.
- How breath travels into the chest, step by step.
- The general size and shape of organs in relation to one another.
- How to tune up a Mercedes.
- The location of white blood cells.
Why use illustrations?Hints
An informational text cannot be fictional. Illustrations for informational texts must therefore show real and factual information.
Illustrations for informational texts are meant to help you better understand the information you are reading. They are not meant as decoration.Solution
Reasons to use illustrations with informational texts are:
- Illustrations can show us information that the text cannot.
- Illustrations can give clues about the text itself.
- Illustrations can be very pretty.
- Illustrations can show worlds or creatures that are only imaginary.
What information can you learn from this graph?Hints
None of the answers are used more than once.
Check that all available choices are on the graph.Solution
- Two animals that are equally common are arctic foxes and arctic hares.
- There are far fewer musk oxen than the other most common animals.
- The animal that is much more common than any of the others are seals.
- The second most common animal is reindeer.
- There is not much difference in the amount of reindeer and arctic hares but there is a big difference in the amount of seals and arctic hares.