Nonfiction: Text features, author's purpose, main idea, Oh My!

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Objective

SWBAT determine a central idea of a text and an author's purpose by reading an article and creating a graphic organizer that identifies each element.

Big Idea

Evaluating a controversial article is a great way to get students to consider author's purpose.

Warm Up-What is important to identify when reading nonfiction

5 minutes

Throughout this unit students are focusing on skills we have practiced throughout the school year.  Today's lesson is a review of reading nonfiction.  To begin class, I will ask students to think about what is important to identify when reading nonfiction.  For two minutes, students will make an individual list.  Next, students will share out and I'll create a list on the white board.  I begin in this way because I want students to activate prior knowledge.  We have read a lot of nonfiction text this year so I anticipate this being an easy, quick review for our warm up.  

I will make sure the list includes,

identifying the central idea of the text (RI.9-10.2)

analyze how that central idea is developed (RI.9-10.5)

identify the author's claim and evidence to support the claim (RI.9-10.8)

assess whether the evidence is relevant and sufficient (R.9-10.8)

 

Read, Annotate and Question

10 minutes

I will distribute Patrick Walsh's article "For Once, Blame the Student," from USA Today. This text asks students, teachers, and parents to think about student accountability.  I choose to use this text because it presents an argument with supporting evidence.  Plus, it's a topic students will have strong feelings about.  I will tell students they have eight minutes to read, annotate and form at least five questions.  At this point in the year, students know that we annotate and ask questions with every text we read.  This Read It Like A Love Letter annotation anchor chart gives instructions for the students.   The anchor chart explains that while reading, students identify the central idea (RI.9-10.2), take notes on how the author unfolds that idea (RI.9-10.3), and determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text (Ri.9-10.4).  While students are reading, I am doing the same thing.  I will project my annotations via the document cam so students can see my modeled text.  This video explains how I use annotation and anchor charts effectively.  

Organize your knowledge

20 minutes

Next, I ask students to look at the list we formed at the beginning of class. Using the list, they are going to create a graphic organizer that will help them organize information from the article.  I will say to students:

At the beginning of class, you made a list of important items to identify when reading a nonfiction text.  You are going to dive into the article and look for the items in your list.  You will need to record your findings, so I want you to create a graphic organizer where you can record your text based findings.  For example, if you listed identifying text features on your list, you will want a place in your graphic organizer to record text features from the article and the purpose of the text features.  

I anticipate this might be difficult for some students.  I will allow them to work in partners, or individually.  If they work independently, I will award them with three extra credit points.  Throughout the year, I've given students graphic organizers to help clarify their thoughts.  However today, I want them to create the graphic organizer themselves.  This will help make them more aware and accountable for their own learning.  

 

The list we created today:

I will make sure the list includes,

identifying the central idea of the text (RI.9-10.2)

analyze how that central idea is developed (RI.9-10.5)

identify the author's claim and evidence to support the claim (RI.9-10.8)

assess whether the evidence is relevant and sufficient (R.9-10.8)

 

 

Closure--MC practice for homework

5 minutes

This lesson helps students prepare for our state test.  Since that test is heavily multiple choice, I created multiple choice questions for the students to practice.  I am going to distribute For Once Blame the Student - Questions, ANSWER SHEET AND GRID and instruct students to have the questions answered for class tomorrow.  I am giving the questions as homework because I want them to really take their time and find the answers.  This will help them understand how closely they need to read a text in order to effectively answer questions.