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Comprehension Strategy: Get the Gist/Main Idea

Text: When I was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant. Illustrated by Diane Goode

Lesson Designed by: Sandra Ifasso

 

 

Lesson Overview

Title

When I was Young in the Mountains by Cynthia Rylant, and illustrated by Diane Goode

Focus  of Lesson (a phrase or sentence)

 This lesson will focus on the read and think-aloud about the comprehension strategy of determining main idea or get the gist.

Objectives

·         Following the read aloud, students will apply the strategy of determining main idea by determining the main idea while reading and by writing on the “get the gist” T-chart.

·         Students will practice get the gist strategy in pairs.

·         Students will describe and record the get the gist of the remaining paragraphs in the book independently on the worksheet.

Rationale for learning

This text does not just teach about community, but it gives many opportunities for students to look for clues that can help them to explain or write the main idea of the text. Children’s books mostly guide children to focus on the pictures in order to understand the story, the books take away the main focus of the story, which is the children’ comprehension of the story. However, this strategy will help many children to focus on the main idea of the book, instead of depending on the pictures to understand the story.

Student Assessment

The students will be assessed, based on how they apply the new comprehension strategy. The teacher will also check their independent work to see if students were able to find the main idea of the paragraph by using the steps that were presented.

 

 

Materials and Resources Required for Lesson

Books (include author, title, and approximate readability level)

Print materials (please include all copies of handouts or student materials at the end of the lesson plan):

Supplies:

·         A copy of text (for each student)

·         A copy of  “get the gist” T-chart template (for each student)

·         Whiteboard

·         Dry-erase marker

·         Pencil

·         Poster stating the strategy

·         Projector

·         Get the gist worksheets

 

 

 

Activities and TEKS

Figure: 19 TAC 110.10 (b): §110.14 English Language Arts and Reading, Grade 3.

  Reading /Comprehension Skills. Students use a flexible range of metacognition reading skills in both assigned and independent reading to undestand on author’s message. Students will continue to apply earlier standards with greater depth in increadingly more complex texts as they become self-directed, critical readers. The student is expected to :

            (D) make inferences about text and use textual evidence to support understanding;

 (9) Reading/Comprehension. The student uses a variety of strategies to comprehend selections read aloud and selections read independently. The student is expected to :

        (D) monitor his/her own comprehension and act purposefully when comprehension breaks down using such strategies as reading, searching for clues, and asking for help (1-3);

 

 

§110.14. English Language Arts and Reading, Grade 3, Beginning with School Year 2009-2010.

 

(29)  Listening and Speaking/Listening. Students use comprehension skills to listen attentively to others in formal and informal settings. Students continue to apply earlier standards with greater complexity. Students are expected to:

         (A)  listen attentively to speakers, ask relevant questions, and make pertinent comments;

(31)  Listening and Speaking/Teamwork. Students work productively with others in teams. Students continue to apply earlier standards with greater complexity. Students are expected to participate in teacher- and student-led discussions by posing and answering questions with appropriate detail and by providing suggestions that build upon the ideas of others.

 

 

 

 

Introduction to the Lesson

 

              Focus: “The teacher will put the picture on the projector for the students to see. The teacher will then engage the students based on the picture on the projector. ”

(see the attachment below)

Teacher Talk:  Tell me something about you that did when you were six-year-old.

           What kind of places did you enjoy visiting with your parents when you were six-year-old?  What food did you like eating when you were six? Where were you born?

           I was born in Africa Congo; does anybody know where Africa is? When I was in Congo, I like to go to the market with my mom.  She and I like to go shopping. My best friend’s dad used to take us to visit the big city every Saturday afternoon, which is called “downtown” here in America. I missed Congo, but I love it here in Texas. Have you ever been in any countries in Africa?  I hope one day when you grow up you will visit Africa.

 

 Purpose: This book that we are about to read is about this girl who loves living in the mountain. She will tell us everything she like doing while she was in the mountains. She and her brother live with their grand-parents and their grand-parents love them so much. They take good care of them.  While reading, we will be able to use a strategy that will help us better understand the story that this girl on the book When I was Young in the Mountains is about to tell us.

 

 

Instruction: “I do, we do, you do”

           What: Teacher talk: You know what students, reading is thinking, so I am going to demonstrate the strategy that we are going to practice today, which is called the determining main idea or get the gist. How many of you read a book because you like its cover? How many of you only focus on the pictures in the book while you are reading? Does anyone know how to find a main idea in the book? Today we are going to find out how we can figure out the main idea of a book. Also, we are going to turn twenty words in one whole paragraph into ten words or less. In the text that we are about to read there are so many words in only one paragraph that are mix between the main idea and details that are confusing to tell the difference between the two. In order for us to separate the details from the main idea, we are going to use one of the strategies, which is “get the gist”. Does anyone know what get the gist mean? Those who do not know what it means, get the gist means getting or finding the main idea of the story. Get the gist has three parts. First we look for the most important “who or what” in a paragraph. Second, we find the most important “information” about who or what. Finally, we put who or what and the most important information about who or what together. Then we will have our final statement of the main idea.

The teacher will write this on the whiteboard or point out to the poster for these:

                        “Get the Gist”

1.      Find the most important WHO or WHAT

2.      Find the most important THING about who or what.

3.      Put BOTH most important who or what and most important information about who or what to form the main idea statement.

 

Why: It’s important to use get the gist strategy because it will make us better readers. Instead of reading without having any clue on what the main idea of the story is, the new strategy will help us to understand the story better. Most of the time when we read a book, there so many information that are getting inside our brain that we forget what the book was about. That is why this strategy will be very helpful to us while we are reading to keep trap on what is going on the story.

 

When/How: Sometimes when we are reading a book, we are overloaded by so many details in the story; therefore, whenever we are reading a book, we need to stop after reading one paragraph in order to get the information that will help us form the main idea. Whenever you come up with something that you do not understand in the story, it is always a good thing to go back and reread the paragraph or the page. Rereading also helps us find the main idea in case we missed one important piece while we were reading.

 

Before Reading:

 

Model: In the literacy center, the teacher will demonstrate the get the gist strategy by reading the book to students. Teacher talk: I am going to read aloud some pages of the book, When I was Young in the Mountains and I want you to pay close attention on how I am going to use the get the gist guide (point to the whiteboard where the three steps are listed) to find the main idea of each paragraph I read. After reading each paragraph, keep in mind that I need to come up with three things that I will need to record in the “get the gist” T-chart. First: I need to find the most important who or what in the paragraph. Second: I need to find the most important information about who or what. Lastly: I need to put the most important who or what and the most important information about who or what together to form the main idea statement. In case I get stuck or I don’t remember the most important who or what or the most important information about who or what, I need to reread the paragraph again to make sure I didn’t leave any important information.

 

While Reading:

 

The teacher will construct several examples on how to use get the gist. Then the teacher will record the examples on the get the gist T-chart so students will be able to see and understand how to get the gist of the paragraph in the book:

1.      “When I was young in the mountains, Grandfather came home in the evening covered with the black dust of a coal mine-only his lips were clean, and he used them to kiss the top of my head.”

·         We are going to stop here and try to get the gist of this paragraph. Now class, can anyone tells me the three steps I need to do to find my main idea of this paragraph? (One or three students can respond to this question. Students can read the steps on the whiteboard if they haven’t memorized them). Students can say: 1. Find the most important who or what. 2. Find the most important information about who or what. 3. Then combine them together to form the main idea statement. Teacher talk: well, in this paragraph there are two people that can be who for step number one. Now I need to pay close attention to which who the paragraph is relating to. To find out which who I need to use what do I need to do? (Right! Reread the paragraph). After rereading the paragraph, my step number one will be: Grandfather. Then my step two will be: comes home every evening unclean. Finally, my step three will be: Grandfather comes home every evening unclean. Now I have found the main idea statement using ten words or less.

2.      “When I was young in the mountains, Grandmother spread the table with hot corn bread, pinto beans, and fried okra.”

·         Now that I was confused earlier on which person is my most important who, I understand that the author will keep reading the title of the book before introducing the paragraph. In this case, I don’t have to focus on first paragraph; I can go head and read the following paragraph. Let’s look at the board again to see our three steps that I need to find in this paragraph. Number one is to find the most important who or what, so in this paragraph it will be Grandmother. Now let’s make our final statement. Can anyone help me put this information together? (Wait for students to raise their hands) then record the final statement on the T-chart: Grandmother serves different kinds of food.

3.      “Later, in the middle of the night, she walked through the grass with me to the Johnny-house and held my hand in the dark. I promised never to eat more than serving of okra again.

·         I can use “she” as my most important who or I can write Grandmother because the paragraph is relating to the Grandmother. We know this because of the previous paragraph. Also, because of the pictures on the opposite page. Since we are focusing on find get the gist. We will use whatever who or what the book stated on the current paragraph. Therefore, number one is: She, number two is: walks her to Johnny-house in the dark, and then my final statement, which is my number three will be: She walks her too Johnny-house in the dark.

4.      “When I was young in the mountains, we pumped pails of water from the well at the bottom of the hill, and heated the water to fill around tin tubs for our baths>”

·         So our number one will be: we, when looking at the picture we might say by “we” the author means her and her brother. Number two will be:  are getting the water from the well in order to take baths. Now we are going to combine the two numbers together, which will be: we are getting water from the well to take bath.

5.      “Afterward we stood in front of the old black stove, shivering and giggling, while Grandmother heated cocoa on top.”

·         We will be again our number two. Then number two will be: were cold and waiting for hot cocoa from Grandmother. The number three will be: We were cold and waiting for hot cocoa from Grandmother.

 

After Reading:

 

Checking for understanding: Teacher talk:  Before you and your partner begin reading and finding the main idea, can someone tell me the three steps that need to be found? (Students can read the steps on the whiteboard or on the poster). First, find the most important who or what. Second, find the most information about who or what. Third, combine the number one and two together to form the main idea statement in ten words or less. What happen if you can’t come up with number one and two? (Wait for students’ response). That’s right! You need to go back and reread he paragraph.

 

Guided practice: Teacher talk: Now that you have watched me use “get the gist” strategy to find the main idea, it is your turn to try. You and your partner will work together to come up with the main idea of the following paragraphs using the get the gist steps that are listed on the whiteboard and poster. Each of you need to record on his or her own get the gist T-chart. However, this is a team work; therefore, work together. I will walk around to see if any group needs help.

·         Page 7: When I was young in the mountains, we walked across the cow pasture and through the words, carrying out towels. The swimming hole was dark and muddy, and we sometimes saw snakes, but we jumped in anyway.

·         Page 9: On our way home, we stopped at Mr. Crawford’s for a mound of white butter.

·         Page 16: When I was young in the mountains, we went to church in the schoolhouse on Sundays, and sometimes walked with the congregation through the cow pasture to the dark swimming hole, for baptisms.

·         Page 17: My cousin Peter was laid back into the water, and his white shirt stuck to him, and my Grandmother cried.

·          Page 20: When I was young in the mountains, we listened to frogs sing at dusk and awake to cowbells outside our windows.

 

Independent practice: Teacher talk: Today you saw me introduced to you the new strategy called “get the gist.” I demonstrated the strategy to you, we practiced together, and you also practiced with a partner, now it is time for you to do it on your own. Now go back to your seat to complete the rest of the paragraphs in the text, and record them on your “get the gist” worksheet. Remember that you need to follow the same steps that I did earlier and the one you and your partner did.

 

Closure and checking for understanding: Who can tell me the name of the new strategy that we learned today? (Students can answer determining the main idea or get the gist). What are the steps that we used to find to get the gist? How did we use it? When did we use it? Why do you think this strategy is important? Now that all of you know how important it is to find the main idea while reading a book, next time when you are reading remember to stop and try the three steps that were taught and use them to help you become a better reader.

 

Differentiation Options (modify by content, process, and/or final product)

 

 

Students with challenges in literacy

1. Students will work with the teacher on the teacher’s desk for one-on-one explanation of the new strategy.

2. Extra repetitions on the steps of get the gist.

3. Increase modeling and do more examples on how to find the main idea in the paragraph.

 

English Language Learners (ELL)

1 .Work one-on-one with them.

2. Go over get the gist steps.

3. Extra repetition.

Early finishers and/or students who need enrichment

1. Students will get another book to find the main idea by using the steps that they learned earlier.

 2. Peer tutor to those who are having trouble with forming get the gist.

3. Students will write on their journal what they think about the new strategy.

 

 

References and Internet Resources  (cite APA style)

http://www.brcc.edu/library/new%20and%20improved/apa%20cheat%20sheet.htm

 

Rylant, C. (1982). When I was Young in the Mountains. New York: NY. Dutton

            Children’s Books

 

Get the gist: T-Chart Template

 

The important WHO or WHAT:

INFORMATION about the who or what:

Put BOTH who or what and information  about who or what together:

 

 

 

 

 

The Strategy Poster:

Determining the main ideas or get the gist

 

Cloud Callout: It was mainly about…
 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

When you use it: When you want to understand the main ideas of the text.

Why you use it: To understand the main ideas of what the author tells us.

How you use it: Think about the big ideas while you read.

 

“Get the Gist”

 

1.   Find the most important WHO or WHAT

 

2.   Find the most important INFORMATION about who or what.

 

 

3.   Put BOTH most important who or what and most important information about who or what to form the main idea statement.

 

 Name: ____________________________                                    Date: ________________

 

 

 

Get the Gist Worksheet

 

Directions: Students will read the text and use the get the gist strategy to complete the worksheet.

 

Title of Book: When I was Young in the Mountains

 

My get the gist are…

 

1.___________________________________________________________________________

 

2.___________________________________________________________________________

 

3.___________________________________________________________________________

 

4.___________________________________________________________________________

 

5.___________________________________________________________________________

 

This strategy helped me because…….

 

 

 

 

3: 5+ Statements descriptive and detailed

2: 3-4 Statements somewhat descriptive and detailed

1: 0-2 Statements not detailed