Tip 1: BIG vs. small
- There are a lot of ideas in an article. It can be challenging to figure out what the main ideas are, and how the specific details connect.
- Use the highlighting feature to mark BIG ideas in GREEN and SPECIFIC details in RED.
- Add notes that explain what the details show. Your notes can start with, “This shows…”.
- Doing this close reading will help you connect the details to the big ideas in an article.
Tip 2: Debate it! What’s really important, here?
- Pick the two most important specific details from the article. Ask, "What idea does that detail prove or show?" and “Why is this detail important to the entire article?”
- To start, you can generate a long list of specific details from the article with the class. Have them share as many details as they can find.
- Once you have the list, tell students that now they need to pick just two.
- Debate with a partner or with the class which 2 details are the most important.
- These conversations will help you see the importance of the specific details, and their purpose to the article overall.
Tip 3: Get to the point!
- Pretend a student three years younger than you just asked you what the article was about. Write out your explanation to them.
- Younger students don’t have a long attention span. They need you to explain it quickly! Use these steps to get to the point.
- Write the big “take away” from the article.
- This article was about _____
- Explain why this is important or interesting.
- This is important/interesting because____
- Explain a detail that proves the big idea or shows why it is important.
To show__idea___, the author included the evidence __evidence___.