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Monday, October 27, 2014

Main Idea & FREEBIE

This is week 2 on our Stayin' Alive Unit!  We are digging deep into inferring the main idea from non-fiction text!  

We started by charting main idea.  Then we became inferencing detectives with our main idea bag stations!  I have 6 group tables, so I made 7 main idea bags--1 for each table and one for us to model together with.  

We did a bag together first.  I took each detail out of the bag and said, "This detail is ______," trying to reinforce the language of "main idea" and "detail."  Then, we did a think-pair-share with carpet partners to figure out the main idea.  After each main idea inference, we went through each detail on the back and said, "Would skeleton be a good detail for a human body main idea?"  I modeled how to write the main idea and illustrate the details on their recording sheet.

Then, they went back as inferencing detectives to their group's table.  I told them how important it was that they worked quietly so they didn't give away the main idea to other groups.  They spent 5 minutes at each station.  

The main ideas I used were: human body {for modeling together}, animals, vehicles, Halloween, toys, school supplies, and shapes.

Once they figured out the main idea as a group, they wrote it on the corresponding number line on their recording sheet and then illustrated and labeled the details from the ba.g {We worked super duper hard on labeling last week! Read about that HERE.}  Then, they rotated through all 6 stations after our 5 minute timer.  After we finished rotating through all 6 stations, they had a few extra minutes at their desk to color their detail illustrations and finish any labeling or illustrating they didn't finish at stations.  

After that, we came together as a whole group and discussed the correct main idea for each bag!  They had so much fun with this!!

Here's the {{FREEBIE}} main idea handout we used. Click to print your copy!  I hope your kiddos enjoy it as much as mine did!!

Later this afternoon, we used a non-fiction passage to infer the main idea and find the key details.  I have non-fiction passages included in my unit for each of the organs and muscles we learn about {bones, brain, heart, muscles, stomach, intestines, lungs and kidneys}.  I don't use these for every single thing we read about, but I enjoy using them for a few.  For muscles and kidneys, we used this passage as our main text.  We talked about how non-fiction texts are not just books.  Sometimes authors write passages that are non-fiction.  Last Thursday, we read the muscles passage and today we read the kidneys passage.

We did a first grade version of a close read with these passages. should know that the way a close read is supposed to go is NOT how we did it in our room.  In fact, our team feels that a close read "by the books" is not developmentally appropriate for our first graders.  But, I have modified and adjusted it over the years...maybe so much that it's really not a close read anymore, but it works for my kids!  

First I read the passage to them.  Then, we read it together twice.  Then, I gave them about 2 minutes to look for and circle sight words from our word wall.  

After that, we read it together again.  But this time I asked them to listen as we read for the important details--the key details--in the passage.  After we finished, I asked, "What are some of the important details we learned about muscles from this passage?"  We did a think-pair-share at their table and then they shared key details. After each detail, I had my firsties point to the place in the text where their friend found that key detail.  This was to reinforce the idea that our research comes from the text.  Then, we highlighted the details in green.  Not the whole sentence, just the key details.  As they highlighted, I highlighted on my model passage on the ELMO and then added the key detail to our anchor chart on muscles!  Finally, they went back and circled any more sight words they could find and added illustrations to match the text.  So, no, I didn't follow the ideal model of a close read....don't call the literacy police on me!  But, it actually worked beautifully for my first graders.  I think I've finally found a way to make this work in first grade!

We are off to a great start inferring the main idea and finding supporting details from the text.  These firsties should be ole' pros at this by the time our unit is over! ;)