Is That a Fact?

Heather Mauldin
Reading to Learn

Rationale: In reading, students must be able to comprehend words in order to learn. Children must be informed of strategies to use in order to comprehend text.

Materials:  Chalkboard, chalk, Science text book ( HBJ Sicence, 1989, Harcourt Brace Jovanoich Inc, p. 124-137), pencil, paper, class library, also have the following paragraph ready to read (paragraph 1)

Jan woke up for school and was very excited.  She put on her new read dress and tied a blue ribbon in her curly hair.  She ran downstairs and quickly ate her breakfast.  Her mother had fixed pancakes for her to eat.  She could not wait to see what it was!  Her teacher had promised the class a new pet and it would be there as soon as class started!


1.  Introduce the lesson as a lesson of summarization.  Often, when we read in school  we are trying to learn something new.  When we read our text books, we often read too much information.  It is important that we focus in on the main points.

2.  Listen to the following paragraph and write down points that you think are important.  Remember that the trivial points are not really important to the story.  (Read paragraph 1 to the class)

3.  Ask the class the following questions:
Did it matter what color Janís dress was?
Why was Jan excited?
Would the story have been different if she had eaten eggs and not pancakes?

4.  Now that the children have an idea of what the main idea is ask them to read pages 124-137 in the science text book. Have them write down ideas from each page that they think are important.

5.  After they have done that make a comprehension map with the students.  To do this draw a circle with branches coming off of it.  Put all of the important facts in the branches.

6.  For assessment, have the children pick out a book from the class library.  They should then do a comprehension map on their own with the book of their choice.  Collect these maps.

References: Amy Vast, Whatís the Main Idea??,
                      Carolyn Lawton, Map Me a Paragraph