What did I just read?? Part II

We finished our taco main idea project!  As mentioned in an earlier post, I am working to improve reading comprehension skills among my 6th graders by working on close reading strategies.  To further strengthen these skills, I decided to put together a unit focusing on main idea and details.  The lesson was broken up into four days. 

On day one, we used the SMARTBoard to discuss the differences between a topic and a main idea.  Next we talked about how the main idea is supported by details, just as a table top is supported by legs.  Without legs your table will fall…without details, your main idea isn’t credible!  We also used analogies such as tacos with lots of yummy toppings!  The same way food tastes great with extra toppings, writing becomes stronger with more details.  You get the picture…

On day two, the class was broken up into four small groups.  The children were given short passages to read.  Independently, the students used the five close reading strategies to make notes about the text and help them determine the main idea and details of the passage.  After working independently on the text, the group members began to think-pair-share with one another about the main idea and details.

Underlining and circling with a purpose (key information) is one of our close reading strategies.

Day three the students continued to work in their groups to finalize their thoughts and draft them down on paper.  I used this time to conference with each group and support their learning.  I used inferential questioning to further student thinking and encourage the class to cite textual evidence in their writings.
The first stages of brainstorming and collecting our ideas.

Day four was used to put all of these pieces together.  Check out our yummy tacos hanging outside our classroom!  I am so proud of how hard all of the students worked together to make this project a wonderful success.   As we move forward, we will continuously refer back to the strategies we used in order to close read books, articles, and journals within the classroom.  We will also use our main idea table and taco organizers to help collect our thoughts.

I'm hungry...
Ms. Vince

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