Green Problem Solving

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SWBAT read non-fiction text to determine the main idea.

Big Idea

Creative people are coming up with ideas for using clean energy such as Windstalks, Tree Houses, and Sparkling Supertrees. Read about ways to battle climate change.

Bell Ringer - What Do You Think The Article Is About?

5 minutes

What do you think the article is about?

Before You Read:

I ask students to read the title of the non-fiction text (article) and write what they think the article is about. Some student answers I am looking for include: the article is about climate change around the world, the article is about how people may clean up or solve problems, the article is about how people are trying to stop climate change and some tools they use to help them.

How do these words relate to the article?

I give students a Word Splash and ask them to decide how the list of words relates to the article. I have students write one to two sentences using four of the words from the list. To build students' writing skills, it is important that they incorporate basic writing expectations such as using: a capital letter, correct end punctuation, and a complete sentence.

Read & Annotate Non-Fiction Text

30 minutes

Reading non-fiction text is an important skill. Common Core State Standard RI.6.3 states, Analyze how an event or idea is introduced and elaborated on in a text and RI.6.2 states Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

As students go through this problem-based learning experience, A Pond Study, I want to build contextual and background knowledge. Reading non-fiction text is a great way to do that. Building background knowledge activates learning and builds vocabulary. 

As You Read The Article:

I want students to annotate the text. I provide five (5) goals areas for students to focus on as they read.

I provide a non-fiction article, this worksheet, and then direct students on how to annotate the article and answer the questions. Sometimes I work with students and read some of the text with them, answer their questions, and help them to annotate the article. I want students to annotate text because it help them to:

  • clearly identify important ideas in the text
  • express the main idea
  • develop brief notes which provide a handy summary
  • begin to think about connections

In Conclusion . . .

5 minutes

After Reading The Article:

I ask students to use the following sentence frames:

The thing that surprised me most from the article was. . . 

In conclusion . . .

Giving students a sentence frame (starter) is helpful because it provides a frame for the sentence. It helps students at all language levels to incorporate higher levels of academic language. It encourages students to develop complex sentences with academic vocabulary. It's best practice.