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What's Important?

11/26/01
Reading

Instructional objectives: Students will distinguish between important and unimportant information.

Time allotted: 15 minutes

Materials needed: Teaching Chart 49 - 'Pet Care'; Overhead projector & marker; chalk & board

Procedures:
Set induction: A student is asked to share the plot of a movie. 'How long was the movie? Why didn't it take you that long to tell us about it? What kind of information do you skip when you tell your friends about a movie, or a book, or anything esle?'
Steps:
1. Explain that it is easier to remember what you read or hear if you can tell what is important information and what is not. They can do this by thinking about the main idea/purpose of the story, or thinking about what exactly they are trying to learn.
2. Display 'Pet Care.' Explain that the title of the story shows what the purpose of reading it is. In this case, the purpose is to learn about pet care. The students should look for important information as the story is read.
3. Have the students read the story aloud.
4. Ask the children to pick out the important information by underlining it. Write it on the chalk board in order from most to least important.
Wrap-up/Evaluation: Ask the children how the importance of the items on the board would change if the title was 'All About Jake.'

Modifications: None

My reflection on the lesson:
My only problem with this lesson was how to end! Somehow my wrap-up didn't wrap up very well. But the rest of the lesson went well.
The set induction, interestingly, kind of proved my point differently that I had planned. The child I picked to share about a movie included a good deal of detail and ended up taking almost five minutes to tell about the movie he'd seen that weekend. As long as his summary was, however, I pointed out to the class that it was still far shorter than the actual length of the movie. Although I would put a time limit on the story if I were to do this lesson again, I think the length of his narrative drove the point home effectively. The rest of the lesson went as planned.
Even before I we got to the wrap-up, the children saw that how important a thing was could vary. They weren't sure whether to put the fact that Jake loved his pets as the most or least important information about pet care.

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