Lesson: Locate Specific Information from Text

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to locate specific information within a given text using the index, table of contents for reading topic and/or conclusion sentences.

Lesson Plan

Objective: Students will be able to locate specific information within a given text.

Lesson Plan


DO NOW (5-7 minutes):  Now that you have read about chicken and how it is processed, I want you to tell me 3 facts that you learned and give me 3 opinions using our opinion key words. 


When reading non-fiction we always ask ourselves questions in order to stay engaged in our text.  There are ways that we can find this information without flipping through the pages until we find it. 

What are some questions we still have about the fast food industry?  (Take 5 questions from the class)

            Record these on chart paper.

Direct Instruction (I DO):

We have some really great questions that we want to be answered.  But how do I find the answers to these questions quickly??  Am I going to flip through each page until I come to the answer?  HECK NO!!!  I don’t have the time or energy to try and go through the whole book to find the answer.

Where am I going to go to help me find my answer when I have a long text like “Chew On This”?

If you can remember back to when we learned about text features, there are two places we can go to help us narrow our search down dramatically.

The Table of Contents & the Index

  1. The Table of Contents – which is located in the beginning of the text gives us the Chapter Titles and will give us a smaller section to look within.

    For example, if I wanted to know how the French Fries were made, I could check out the table of contents to see if there were any chapters that dealt with French Fries.  And looking there I find there is in fact a chapter that is titled “The Secret to the Fries”.  The chapter starts on page 92 and goes to page 127. 

    Within the chapter there are other text features that help me to narrow my search down even more.  These are called HEADINGS.  Within the text, headings are the labels for different topics within the chapter. 

    Because I’m looking for information on how the French Fries are made I can look within the chapter for a heading that centers on this topic. 

    Read through the various headings of the chapter…which one fits the best with what I want.  “I bet factory fries is what I want, because French Fries are made in a factory”.

  2. The Index – is an alphabetic list of topics, at end, that can be found within the text.

    Lets for back to my example of trying to find information about how the French Fries are made.

    If I am looking for information on French Fries, I’m going to have to search under the “F” section, looking for the words “French Fries”. 

    Show to class as you do this – Running your finger down the listings, reading them as you go.

    French Fries!!!  Found it!  Next to the words I see a bunch of sub-headings; I can tell these go with French Fries because the sub-headings are indented or moved over just a bit.  Just like searching for the headings within the text, I need to find the sub-heading that marches the best for the information I am looking for (read them out load and choose the one that is the best…”Looks like assembly-line production” is the best one, because I know from my prior knowledge that an assembly line is in a factory.

    I see some numbers next to the subheading; I bet those are the page numbers that I need to go to, to find my information.  Let me flip to those pages and by golly, I found my information!!!

  3. When we read shorter non-fiction passages, there isn’t a table of contents or an index to help us find our information.  When we are reading shorter books, newspaper articles, or selections from a magazine we still can find the information we need relatively quickly.

    In order to do so we need to look at the
    topic sentences or concluding sentences in the paragraph. Topic sentences are the first sentence in every paragraph, concluding sentences are the very last sentence in the paragraph.  They give you the basic information within the paragraph.

    Take a look at the article from Time for Kids on the overhead/smartboard.  I have highlighted to topic and concluding sentences.

    My question about this article is “Why are the lady bugs lost?”

    If I read the topic sentences (read through them) I was able to find out that no one really knows why the ladybugs are disappearing.  And then it gave me reasons as to why they could be.

Guided Practice (WE DO):  Start the “Chew On This” Scavenger Hunt with the class, finding information using each of the three different ways to find specific information.

Independent Practice (YOU DO):  Complete the “Chew On This Scavenger Hunt.

Exit Slip:  What three ways can you use to find specific information within a non-fiction text?  Why is it beneficial for you to know how to do this? 

Lesson Resources

Time for Kids article - Ladybugs
Lesson 26 Ladybugs Lost DI   Classwork
Lesson 26   Lesson Plan
Lesson 26 IP GO FIND IT   Activity


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