Stronger vs Weaker Evidence for the Main Idea

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SWBAT...identify, support and debate the main idea in the text "Bud Not Buddy"

Big Idea

Backing up your ideas with evidence in text makes your opinions stronger!

Creating the Purpose

5 minutes

I start by stating "Mrs. Fachner (our principal) met with me yesterday to discuss how I felt this 5th grade year was going so far. She asked me how you were doing as a class academically. I told her I felt you were doing really well. She asked - how do I know this?"  

I share that I had to stop and think about how I could show proof that you were doing well. I ask "What are some ways we could prove that you are doing well academically?" I ask students to share responses and am looking for them to begin to think about the ways testing and test scores helps us to know how we are doing. I then keep them going in this direction by asking "How does evidence help in a court case? How does it prove who is right or wrong? How about a car accident? Or maybe when you have having an argument with your  brother?" - I keep questioning until I see those light bulbs going off that proving ideas with evidence is something we do every day.  

I share that this is called evidence or supporting details that back up what we say to prove that it is true.

I introduce the objective, Today we are going to reread the story of Bud Not Buddy with the purpose of identifying supporting details or evidence for the main idea of the next chapter. 

Guiding the Learning

15 minutes

I pass out copies of the worksheet Supporting the main ideas in text ask students to listen as I read part of the section aloud.

I project my copy of the text on the board and read the first section writing on the chart:

How do Good Readers read? We Read (part of the passage), Pause (to think about what is being shared in the reading), Evaluate (What is the main idea? Is this supported with evidence in all the sections?) Respond (Write down our thoughts on paper or notes)

I then ask students to follow along as I read aloud modeling using expression, pausing to think aloud and questioning text or vocabulary in the first part of the section.

I think aloud about the main idea and wonder about the first sentence which shared that either someone was going to get paddled or someone was going to a foster home. I then identify the main idea as "Bud and Jimmy are going to foster homes that afternoon" 

I write this on my worksheet copy and add the supporting detail "Boys, good news! Now that the school year has ended, you both have been accepted in new temporary-care homes starting this afternoon!"

I ask students to choral read the second section with me aloud. I call on students to identify the main idea. We debate as a class and students respond with evidence that supports our decision.

We repeat this with the next section but I have students read with their partners and circulate to ensure they are all participating and understanding. The purpose for the scaffolded reading is to ensure that all levels of independent readers can understand the text. I try to use this I do- we do- you do format for most of the book so that students can be more successful in the independent response sections and be able to participate more equally in the discussions because all will have some level of understanding of the reading passage.


Independent Learning

22 minutes

I have students look at the final section of the worksheet Supporting the main ideas in text and explain that this is what their Literature Circle worksheets will look like for identifying and supporting the main idea.

I have students think about the main idea they identified in the previous days reading. I ask them to reread the text with the purpose of identifying supporting details that help to justify their response.

I pass out post-it notes and their books (or copies of the passages) and instruct them that they may use the notes to mark sections of text that support their main idea.

I set a timer for 10 min. and students work quietly while I walk around and assist and question as needed.  Struggling readers can be partnered with helpful peer readers or can have students read the text aloud to them as they take notes.

I then signal and have students move back into their previous groups of 4-6 people and share their support found for the main ideas. They are instructed to use their Academic Discourse - 3 parts and to give equal time for sharing to everyone. They are then asked to debate stronger and weaker evidence. I set a timer for 8 min. 

We stop and I call on students to do a 2-3 min sharing of evidence located and what made it stronger support. 


Closing the Loop

5 minutes

We gather together on the carpet and I ask students to share the evidence found to support the main idea of the text. Here's a video of a group sharing their ideas and questioning what partners share.

I close by bringing them all together and once again asking: What was easy about finding evidence for the main idea? and what was difficult about it?

I close with asking:  What was the best part of sharing in a group today and what was difficult about it?

I do this questioning so that students begin to feel more ownership over their discussions and group learning times. I need them to get to the point where they realize that they are running their groups and being held accountable for the results they achieve in their sharing times and on their worksheets by the end of this unit because then they will be meeting independent of these guided lessons.  

I collect the books and take notes for what issues to address and what groups/ people to listen to next time.  I gauge this according to what they responded both in their small groups and in our closing discussions and look for ways to teach effective sharing and participation strategies.