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SWBAT determine the central ideas of the text and provide an objective summary of the text; analyze the interactions of an individual and his actions within a text; evaluate their reading comprehension skills.

Big Idea

Reading Non-Fiction to provide background knowledge with a classroom novel.


15 minutes

When I introduced this reading comprehension activity, I reviewed all the steps with the class before students proceeded independently.  I provided this explanation before passing out the text.

We reviewed Before Reading about non-fiction reading strategies: read the title, sub-titles, bold/highlighted words, look at pictures, read captions, side-bars, and/or other segregated informational text.  Trying to get students to relate this to relevance in their own lives, I asked them when should you use these strategies;  I wanted them to recognize that they can use these in other content areas when reading articles and specifically their textbooks.

The Prediction discussion included writing relevant and specific questions – not “What is going to happen?”

When discussing the During Reading portion, I reminded students that this is for them to take notes about the text, and they will then use this information to write a summary.

Interpretation provided an opportunity to determine the connotative meaning of phrase and support their claim with textual evidence.

Reflection afforded the students an opportunity make an inference and support it with textual evidence from the passage.

Metacognitive Awareness is the fun section to explain to students.  They love it when I told them this part is you (the student) is recognizing what you know – “knowing what you know”.  Our discussion included:  Do I know something or don’t I know it; what do I know, what don’t I know.  I related it to studying for tests.  We reviewed the comprehension strategies that good readers used during reading and how in this section, the student will analyze the details of how they read and comprehended the text.


40 minutes

When I passed out the text, "Zapped" by Tim Samaras with Glen Phelan, (taken from "National Geographic Extreme Explorer" magazine, March, 2012) students were able to begin working independently. 

Some of the struggling learners need some prompting especially as the create quality questions but are soon able to complete the assignment.  By sitting with some students and asking them what are you wondering about as you preview this text, they begin to realize that what is in their heads are the questions that they can record.


5 minutes

As a closure, in small groups, students shared the comprehension strategy that they wrote about in the Metacognitive Awareness section.  Although students should be using a variety of strategies as they read, this quick discussion provided a chance for all students to recognize ways in which they might incorporate reading strategies in personal interaction with text.