Reflection: Grappling with Complexity Searching for the Main Idea - Section 2: Guided/Independent Practice


Pushing the students to identify main idea with video was a task I was very nervous about doing.  Using the video on traveling to Antarctica is a familiar topic, so I was hoping it would be an easier transition.  

I showed the video once just to watch and then after the first viewing, I ended up stopping and asking the students to think about the topic and main idea.  I had them share with their shoulder partners and walked around, listening to their converstaion, assessing how they did.  I could see almost all the students missed the main idea.  They all just though the video was about life in Antarctica.  The actual main idea was about traveling to Antarctica.  Because the details all seemed to be about Antarctica in general, they missed that it was more specific to traveling.  

Before starting the second viewing, I reminded the students of how to identify main idea using nonfiction text features.  This could include the title and any words presented in the video.  I also told them to focus on the first sentence that the narrator says.  I reminded them to listen for words that are stressed or repeated.  

After viewing it the second time, many more if not all students were able to pull out the main idea and even work on recalling supporting details.  

It was a great success! 

  Guided Practice
  Grappling with Complexity: Guided Practice
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Searching for the Main Idea

Unit 5: Unit 3 Nonfiction and Informational Text
Lesson 4 of 9

Objective: SWBAT identify the main idea of passages

Big Idea: Given a variety of text, can the students identify main idea?

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