Rock Climbing, Forces in Motion
Lesson 3 of 3
Objective: Use close reading to make connections between rock climbing and forces and motion.
I love using Newsela.com as a free resource. The articles are based on current events and my students really enjoy discussing and reading them. As the cornerstone of this lesson, I used the article " Climbing 3,000 feet straight up". I used the article cross curricularly, as both Science and Language Arts. In Science the guiding question was, " What is the connection between rock climbing and forces?", and in Language Arts, "What is the main idea of this article?". Teaching main idea is never easy, however, I used close reading as a way to help my students accomplish this task. I use three steps, first, I created Close Reading 1st Read, where we read the article whole class, and they read silently. Then they find two new facts they learned and if there were any facts they already knew, they note those down as well. This ensures that they noticing the academic content in this informational article.
The second time they read, they were reading with a partner. I created , Close Reading 2nd Read, in which the main focus of the activity is for the students to chose only one sentence that describes what the problem is,then one sentence why the problem occurs or why it is a problem. Then, finally, what the solution to the problem is, again using just one sentence. When the students reach the final read, I created Close Reading 3rd Read determining Main Idea, in which they take the three sentences, put them together and voila, you have the main idea of the article, including the supporting details!
Class Discussion/Wrap Up
This process requires a lot of scaffolding at first, but eventually, students get the process and are much more successful at finding the main idea. I have tried many different methods, but for my students, this seems to be the easiest and most effective way. The students were able to answer the question,"What is the connection between rock climbing and forces? " I believe it was because of the close read, using non fiction text features, and finding the main idea.