Return To The Moon

35 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT read and annotate nonfiction science text.

Big Idea

Make sure reading is part of learning science. Using reading strategies in the content area will engage and interest students in the concepts while building skills and confidence.

Before You Read

5 minutes

Before You Read

It is important to incorporate pre-reading strategies when presenting new text. Pre-reading strategies will help students to:

  • understand what they read
  • access or create prior knowledge
  • increase reading speed and efficiency
  • contextualize the text
  • set a purpose for reading


Take about 5 minutes for students to complete two (2) pre-reading strategies found on the Directions. Students can work independently to complete these pre-reading strategies. The two (2) strategies are:

1. Read the title of the article and write an explanation of what the article is about.

2. Anticipation Guide: Get Ready to Read. Decide if you agree or disagree with each statement. 

As students are working on the pre-reading strategies, I circulate the classroom to check on student understanding of the directions and quickly do a formative assessment of their knowledge of NASA and the Moon. 

Teacher Tip: Student are grouped according to their reading (Lexile) level, so I ask them to take 2 minutes to share their answers to the pre-reading strategies with their peers. The articles Return to the Moon (Lexile 550), and A Tornado on the Sun (Lexile 810) each have similar questions along with the directions. 

As You Read

20 minutes

As You Read

Annotating provides a way to engage the reader in the text. It makes reading an active process. I want students to CCSS.ELA.Literacy.RI.6.10 read and comprehend (literary) nonfiction text. Since reading non-fiction text is an important skill, I also want students to RI.6.3 analyze how an event or idea is introduced and elaborated on in a text. As students annotate the article Return To The Moon or A Tornado On The Sun, they will build these reading and comprehension skills. 

Annotating will:

1. clearly identify where important ideas are in the text

2. express the main idea of the text

3. introduce the reader to thoughts and reactions to the text

First, I ask student to read the text with their small group. I place students into small groups according to their Lexile level. I ask students to take turns and read the text aloud with their group. After reading, I ask students to go back to the text and annotate. By providing three annotating strategies, I keep students focused on the text and task. I ask students to:

1. write a question connected to a relevant part of the text

2. highlight the main idea

3. draw a "smiley face" where they made a connection.

*Refer to the Scientists Study Algae Blooms lesson to learn more about reading nonfiction text with your students.

After You Read

15 minutes

After Reading The Article

As students complete the worksheet from the article, CCSS.ELA.Literacy.RI.6.4 states students determine the meaning of words as they are used in a text. I want students to build skills and strengthen vocabulary so I ask them to use the Seven (7) Steps for Finding Meaning of Unknown Words. I go through the text and choose a variety of vocabulary words. Then students apply this strategy to the chosen words. For each vocabulary word, I ask students to:

1. Copy the sentence where the word was found in the text.

2. Take a guess at the meaning of the word.

3. Justify their reasoning to the meaning of the word by completing the Sentence Frame: I think that...means...because...

Asking students to justify their reasoning to a vocabulary word is one strategy that will develop their thinking as they build a claim from evidence and reasoning. It is a critical thinking skill.