Lesson: Non-fiction Text Structures: Author's Purpose: Summarize Main Idea (Lesson 27)

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Lesson Objective

Paragraphs have purposes. Some paragraphs are meant to summarize the main idea or point of the text.

Lesson Plan

Lesson 27:

Standard: Identify the purpose of common textual features (for example, title, headings, key words, paragraphs, topic sentences, table of contents, indices, glossary,  captions accompanying illustrations or photographs).

Identify topic sentences, supporting details, and elaboration in paragraphs. 

Determine the purpose of individual sentences and paragraphs and how they contribute to the text as a whole. 

Big Idea:  Writers use lots of evidence to support the main idea or theme.  These supporting details fill the text; they are found in every paragraph, all textual features, and all graphic features. 


Teaching Point: Paragraphs have purposes. Some paragraphs are meant to summarize the main idea or point of the text.


Reading Workshop: Reading binders, highlighters, copies of Horseshoe Crabs and Shorebirds, pages 8-15

Read Aloud: copy of Horseshoe Crabs and Shorebirds, small post-its



Reading Workshop Lesson:

  • Tell your partner all six paragraph purposes that we’ve learned. [Review as needed]
  • Today we are going to come back to Horseshoe Crabs and Shorebirds and find evidence that answers this question. [Post OR question]
  • How many parts? (3)
  • Re-read to find evidence for each part – stop highlighting once you’ve found evidence for 3 types of birds.
  • As a whole class, in groups, or independently, write a topic sentence and three (short) paragraphs



Read Aloud Lesson:


  • Readers, we have been learning that in all texts we read, every paragraph has a purpose, and good readers always know what the purpose of each paragraph is. Today, we are going to continue looking at the purpose of the paragraphs in Horseshoe Crabs and Shorebirds: The Story of a Food Web.
  • [Start reading at “Crowded into the small trip of tide…”]
    • “Crowded into the small strip…” – descriptive/sequence
    • “High in the sky…”  - descriptive
    • “A small flock…” – sequence
    • “In shallows…” –descriptive
    • ….more descriptive/sequence…
    • Stop after “pushes them high up the beach.” We will finish this text tomorrow

Lesson Resources

Lesson 27 Open Response.docx  


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