Breaking Down Beringia: Main Idea Foldable

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SWBAT to identify the main idea and supporting details in a technical text.

Big Idea

Identifying main idea and supporting details will lead to the ability to summarize which is an important skill to master.

Reviewing the Concept: Topic vs Main Idea

10 minutes

This lesson begins with a quick review of the idea of topic vs main idea.  My students are great at telling me the topic, but not so much with finding the main idea.  I review the Think and Search QAR reminding students that they have to synthesize all the information in the selection to come up with the main idea.  My students have been trying to use the title or the first sentence only to craft their main idea so I have to remind them in many ways that the main idea is the whole selection "smooshed" into one sentence.  

I tell the students that we're about to make an awesome foldable and pass out the necessary papers.

Fragmenting the Frozen Tundra: Creating the Foldable

10 minutes

Before you do the foldable with your class, you must copy the image in the resource section onto 8 1/2 by 17 paper so it can be folded in half with the map completely on one side.  This foldable requires the map to have two parts- to look like a book.

To introduce the foldable we were creating, I showed the students one of my daughter's old Barbie books that is cut into three independently turning sections.  I ask them if any of them ever had a book like that.   None of my students had, but they were so excited they asked me to leave the book in the library.   I included a picture of it in the resource section in case an example is needed.  

After that, I explained that we were going to make a foldable similar to the Barbie book and I help up my example.  There was plenty of oohing and aahing and they couldn't wait to get started.  That's the great part about foldables- they are so engaging!!  This particular foldable wasn't as difficult for students to make as others I have used.

I did, however, have some students cut the map part of the foldable into four pieces instead of three.  This actually was fine.  I just told those kiddos that they had to come up with four supporting details instead of three.

Another helpful note here is to have students use a marker to trace the tops of their map sections to create boxes to write in on their back page.  This will make it neater and easier for students to keep their supporting details together.

Tracking the Terrain: Recording the Main Idea and Supporting Details

30 minutes

During this part of the lesson, the students work independently to complete their foldables. Even though we've taken baby steps to get to a deeper understanding of main idea, the novelty of the foldable keeps them engaged and working.  

Again, as in most independent work time, I act as facilitator, answering questions, checking over and monitoring.  

As students finished, I allowed them to share under the ELMO.  Allowing students to share during work time lets me see if they are on track and also gives the students working some reassurance that they are also on track.