Sunday Cummins Experience nonfiction.
PRIMARY GRADE SAMPLE LESSON
Developing an Awareness of Important Words in Nonfiction Text
This lesson uses a “word sort” to highlight for students words and phrases in a text that have more weight than others in conveying the author’s central ideas. After sorting words, students engage in using those words to retell what they learned from the text (Common Core, RI K.2, 1.2, 2.2). The attached lesson incorporates The Buzz on Bees: Why Are They Disappearing? (Rotner & Woodhull, 2010). This book could easily be read aloud as part of an interdisciplinary unit on the life cycle of bees, the necessity of bees to our livelihoods, and environmental issues that are endangering bees. The downloadable lesson could be implemented over 2-3 lessons with this book. The lesson could easily be duplicated with other texts and teacher-created word sorts.
WORD SORT LABELS: BEGINNING
WORD SORT LABELS: FINISH
INTERMEDIATE GRADE SAMPLE LESSON
Listening Closely to Determine an Author’s Main Idea and Supporting Evidence
This lesson focuses on "listening closely" to determine the author's main idea of a text and how the key details reveal a relationship between concepts, using specific information from the text (Grades 3-5 Common Core Reading Standards for Informational Text 2 & 3; Writing Standard 2; Speaking and Listening Standard 2). The text for the lesson is One Well: The Story of Water on Earth (Strauss, 2007). With gripping facts, the author describes how billions of living things depend on a limited source - water. Readers quickly realize the human impact on this precious source and the need to recycle and conserve water. The attached lesson would fit into the introduction to an Earth Science unit on the attributes of water, the limited supply of freshwater, and the use of water in the students' own communities.
This lesson is focused on using close reading to determine an author’s central idea and how this idea is developed over the course of a text (Common Core, RI 6.2, 7.2 & 8.2). The short nonfiction-narrative text for the lesson is excerpted from the award winning book Marching for Freedom: Walk Together, Children, and Don’t You Grow Weary (Partridge, 2009). In gripping detail, Partridge tells the story of how ordinary kids helped change history by engaging in the Civil Rights protests for voting rights. These kids were beaten and jailed at different points, but they kept on marching. This book could easily be read aloud to students over the course of several lessons as part of an interdisciplinary unit that explores the Civil Rights Movements in the South and other regions of the United States between 1945-1970 and related essential questions. The downloadable lesson assumes the students have been introduced to or have some background knowledge of this period of time and the related civil rights issues.
6-8TH GRADE SAMPLE LESSON
Close Reading for Development of Central Idea