Lesson Plan

Determining Importance

Is that fact important, or is it just interesting? Use this lesson to help your students determine importance in nonfiction text.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Repeated Words and Phrases pre-lesson.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Repeated Words and Phrases pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to pick out important information in a nonfiction text.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments

Introduction

(3 minutes)
Nonfiction Text Features: Wild, Wild WeatherReading Strategies: Determining ImportanceGraphic Organizer Template: Concept Web
  • Ask students to think about how the experience of reading fiction and nonfiction texts is different. Have them discuss with a partner before having a class discussion.
  • Share that fiction reading is often a simple process because readers are able to begin reading and the story unfolds. With nonfiction, a reader should look at all the extra things on the page that add information. Text features are things that give more information about a topic like, illustrations, captions, headings, bold words, maps, charts, and timelines. These features clue the reader into the important information that the author wants us to learn.
  • Explain to students that nonfiction texts are also called informational, which means they give information to the reader. An author can provide a lot of information, but it is up to the reader to determine, or decide, which information is the most important for learning. Important information has the greatest meaning or value. It requires the most attention. We can’t possibly remember everything in an informational text, but we can remember the most important information.
  • Review the learning objective for the lesson and have students repeat it aloud.
  • Beginning: Give students an example fiction and nonfiction text, and have them talk to a partner about how the texts are different.
  • Put students with a supportive partner or an EL with the same home language (L1).
  • Intermediate: Define and provide examples of fiction and nonfiction prior to the lesson.
  • Display student-friendly definitions and visuals for different text features, such as illustrations, captions, headings, bold words, maps, charts, and timelines.