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Tip of the Iceberg: Nonfiction Summary Details
Students will be able to summarize key details of nonfiction texts.
- Write the idiom "tip of the iceberg" on the board. Explain how idioms are synonyms for ideas.
- Have students turn and tell a neighbor what they think "tip of the iceberg" means.
- Invite students to share out their ideas with the whole class. While they are sharing, draw a sketch of a series of four icebergs with their tips showing just above a waterline. Discuss and draw any figurative student connections.
- Clarify for your class that if something is the tip of the iceberg, it's the main idea of a larger amount of information.
- Explain how a detail provides more precise information about an idea.
- Add that summarizing texts is like capturing a series of iceberg tips of a text, from beginning to end. Tips of the icebergs for today's assignment are main ideas, not details!
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(5 minutes)
- Demonstrate the following paper constructions:
- Fold a white paper strip, twice, into a ¼-sized rectangle.
- Trim the rectangle into mountains such that it opens into four mountains linked together, accordion style.
- Glue the white strip (mountains) onto a blue paper strip so that only the four iceberg tips show.
- Preview a nonfiction text for your students by identifying four main ideas: one opening, two middle, and one conclusion.
- Write each main idea on an iceberg in order from beginning to end, left to right.
- Flip the construction over and write, "(text title): Tips of the Icebergs" along with student name and date.
- Review the construction and answer clarifying questions.
Guided Practice(10 minutes)
- Using one paper strip each (white and blue), scissors and glue, demonstrate how to cut and assemble the iceberg cutouts and pasting process.
- Preview a nonfiction text with your class by doing a picture walk and noting four main ideas on your teacher iceberg model.
Independent working time(10 minutes)
- Provide nonfiction texts to your students along with additional paper strips and glue for constructions.
- Answer any procedural questions and have your students complete their assignment.
- During independent work time, assist students with cutting and gluing as needed. Staplers work as a substitute for glue and can be less messy.
- Provide leveled nonfiction texts differentiated for your students to select for analysis.
- Have students provide additional details for each main ideas below each iceberg.
- News ELA is great online source for differentiated nonfiction texts on current news events. This would be a great resource for text to access in real time or printouts for student analysis. See suggested media for web details.
- Draft a numbered list of three sentences:
- Two potential main ideas
- One detail (but not a main idea)
- Have your students tell you which two points are main ideas, which is not, and why.
Review and closing(10 minutes)
- Discuss: What perspectives are most powerful in nonfiction texts we've reviewed in class today?