Their Native Tongue Day 3 of 3

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SWBAT ask and answer questions to explain the purpose of an article

Big Idea

It takes a community to keep a language and cultural traditions alive.


10 minutes

Summary and Context

Today, we reread the article, Their Native Tongue. This time I dive in deeper with more text dependent questions that analyze why the author wrote this article. We will identify the main idea and details that support it. To help them understand why authors write, we will have a discussion of why authors write. 


Lesson Opening:

I start with students on the rug. I ask them  to pair share, “Why do authors write?” (Pair-share is a technique in which all students get to talk and share their ideas, thoughts about topics we are discussing. They turn to face one another and it’s a quick technique.) After a few share out loud. I transcribe their responses on a chart:

Why do authors write?

Rereading: Their Native Tongue

20 minutes

Before we reread the article, I introduce three posters about why authors write.

I let them know that after we finish reading with the text dependent questions, we will state why the author wrote the article. 

As I read with them, I use a cloze reading technique. This means as I read, I intentionally leave out a word for the students to read chorally. In this way, the reading progresses at a steady pace.

Brain Dance

2 minutes

After reading the article and figuring out why the author wrote the article, I give my students a brain break. This means I get up from their chairs and get them moving with different brains dance movements. I am attaching a small poster so that you can choose which movements to do with your students:

Brain Dance Movements

Identifying Main Idea

15 minutes

On the white board I write:

What does the author explain?

I open it up for discussion. Then one of students shares her thoughts:

Student answers

Together we form the main idea and locate a couple of details that support it:

Main Idea


After we identify the main idea, I ask my students to write it in their journals. We identify one details and then they identify the rest of the details. I walk around and offer support. Some students will need some more guidance as to where the details can be found. Other will need me to remind them of the task and to stay on task.

Here are some of their work samples:

Sample 1

Sample 2

Sample 3

Sample 4


10 minutes

I gather the students on the rug to debrief the lesson. I ask them what they learned about the lesson. I have a few share out loud. Then, I ask them whether we met our objective and I bring closure to the lesson.