Better Than Gold

12 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT read and annotate nonfiction science text.

Big Idea

Where are the world reserves of rare Earth minerals? Are we running out? Use active reading strategies to learn about matter, its properties, and its interactions.

Before You Read

5 minutes

Before You Read

Use active reading strategies to engage your students in the text. I ask students to take 2-3 minutes to reflect on the questions before reading the nonfiction text.

1. Read the title of the article. What do you think the article is about?

One student response: I think the article is about gold and what its used for and how its recycled.

2. Get Ready to Read. What do you think? An Anticipation Guide.

Students should respond if they agree (A) or disagree (DA) with each statement on the worksheet.

As students respond to these questions, I circulate the classroom to make observations and anecdotal notes about their learning level and background knowledge. Then, I take one minute to listen to student responses. To engage students in a whole group conversation, I use popsicle sticks to draw names and ask students to share their answers. This method gives all students an opportunity to engage in the conversation.

As You Read

20 minutes

As You Read

Reading non-fiction text is an important skill. This lesson focuses on Common Core State Standards RI.6.3 analyze how an event or idea is introduced and elaborated on in a textRI.6.2 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; and RI.6.10 by the end of the year, students should read and comprehend literacy nonfiction, with scaffolding as needed. These important skills are reinforced when students read nonfiction text.

As students go through this unit, Matter & Atoms, 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. Some key vocabulary I want students to focus on in the text includes: element, mining, rare Earth elements, metals, brine, evaporate, crust.

I want students to annotate the text either as they read or after they read. I ask students to annotate in three (3) areas as they read.

  1. In the margin, write a question about something you read. Draw a line to the relevant part of the text.
  2. Use your highlighter to highlight the main idea in the text.
  3. Draw a (smile face) :) next to an idea in the text where you made a connection.

I provide the nonfiction text and a worksheet, then direct students to annotate the article. Sometimes I work with a small group of students, read some of the text with them, and help them to answer the questions and 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 

This lesson, from the unit Matter & Atoms, works towards mastery of the NGSS MS-PS1-3 which states students will gather and make sense of information to describe that materials come from natural resources and impact society.

After You Read

15 minutes

After You Read

An appropriate "after you read" strategy such as sequencing is valuable for increasing reading comprehension. Students put concepts from an article into a visual diagram. By using a circular diagram to sequence the events/concepts from the text, students learn what happens over time and requires them to put their own understanding into words.

Sequencing is a way to communicate ideas and communicating is an important science process skill. As students develop the skill of sequencing, they learn to share ideas through writing, drawing, and labeling.  When students communicate, they find ways to share steps in a process (sequence), explain their thinking, and answer questions. These lifelong skills are not just useful in science, but in any situation that requires critical thinking.