More Main Idea

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SWBAT determine the main idea of a variety of texts.

Big Idea

What would it be like to live at the bottom of the world? Students read a nonfiction article to find the main idea and discover what living in Antarctica would be like.

Advanced Organizer

7 minutes

To get the students thinking, I will ask the students to describe what they think it would be like to live in Antarctica.  I will have the students write their response in their spirals on the next blank page.  I may throw out some prompting by asking them to describe the weather, their daily activities, etc...

When did look at Antarctica in a previous lesson.  

Once the students have replied, I will ask them to share their answers and collect a list on the board.  We can refer to this list when we are reading the actual article. 

I'll ask the kids to defend their answers and responses with reasons. 

Guided Practice

25 minutes

I pass out the article and remind the students of our nonfiction reading strategies.  I'll ask them to preview the title, look at any pictures, titles, and subtitles.  This is an important habit to have the students develop so they can be successful with their reading. This is also a habit that the students skip over all the time! It can be frustrating and as much as I drill it into them, they always seem to want to skip it! I make it a point every time to stop and model it.  

Once we have established our purpose for reading and are ready to go, I will read the passage aloud with the students.  I'll remind the students to make any annotations with the text as we read. 

I will stop to check for understanding and discuss the living conditions with some of the conditions we listed. 

Once we have read the article, I will ask the students to identify the topic, topic sentence, main idea, and supporting details.  I will have them use a different color for each piece.  They can work with their shoulder partner to complete the task.  I will have them use their notes "Determining Main Idea" from an earlier lesson to assist them with this task.  I find the students are always hesitant to jump in, so providing them with a resource makes it a little easier.  They will still need a push-but this helps.  

As they are working, I will circulate and monitor their work.  I could also pull a small group to work with, reteach, or provide more guidance. 

Once they are done, I will ask the students to complete a Stand Up, Hand Up, Pair Up to share and compare their answers.  This allows them time to check with peers and reevaluate their understanding.  

Finally, we will discuss it as a class.  I will display the article onto the board and work through the topic, topic sentence, and supporting details with the students.  

Literature Group

25 minutes

The students are working in literature groups, reading the novel "Hatchet".  This is a very engaging survival story and very easy to do some paired text with nonfiction materials.  

I will have the students meet in their literature groups and discuss the answers to the reading Lit group questions for chapter 7 and 8.  While they are working, I will circulate through the room and meet with the groups to check for understanding. 

 Once they have checked and discussed their answers, I will collect their work to assess. 

Next, I will set a purpose for reading today.  I will ask a few students to review the events of the previous chapter and make predictions about the reading today.  Also, we will look for the main idea of the chapters we are reading.

Once we are done with the reading, I will have the students work on the reading response questions for chapters 9 and 10. 


5 minutes

To review the learning and help to process what we discussed today, I will have the students complete a Closure Slip.   The students do struggle with main idea and especially with identifying main idea.  The closure will just assess their basic understanding.  I do not feel as if they are ready to demonstrate understanding and mastery of identifying the main idea.