Lesson Plan

Information Text at its Best

In this lesson students will identify the main and supporting details in an online news article, then create a 30 second video to share their learning.
Kay L.
Lakeside Union School District
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My Grades Pre-K, K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, Arts

Students will be able to:

1. Identify the main idea of an online news article

2. Determine key details to support the main idea.

3. Create a movie to share their learning.

English Language Arts
Social Studies
Grades 3 - 6
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook


The teacher will show students a 30 second video she created using either iMovie or Animoto.  The video would have images, titles, and a word cloud that the teacher made using the key ideas in a news article found on Newsela.com.  Here is an example from an article on Emperor Penguins: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7MXIWlrvh0



2 Direct Instruction

The teacher selects an article on Newsela.com to share with the entire class. The class reads and discusses the article together, and the teacher highlights all of the text in the article, and copy and pastes it into a word cloud builder, such as Wordle.net, or the Tag Cloud app for iPads.  Create the word cloud. Point out the words that are the largest in the word cloud. (These words help us to discover the main and supporting ideas from the article.) Using a graphic organizer, write the 6 words that show up the very largest on your word cloud.  Using those words, write short phrases that tell what the article was about.  This should be done whole group.

3 Guided Practice

Students log in to Newsela, and with a buddy choose a news article they would like to learn more about.  They read the article with their buddy, then select all the words in the article to create a Word Cloud using Wordle, Taxedo, or the Tag Cloud app.  (Make sure they save their word cloud to the camera roll.)  Students then fill out a graphic organizer identifying the largest words in the word cloud, and then they use those words in short phrases that describe the supporting details.

4 Independent Practice

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After creating their word cloud and completing the graphic organizer, students will create a short video using Animoto or iMovie.  For the video they will need pictures, titles, and their word cloud.  The video should be approx. 30 seconds long, and should have at least four images and four supporting ideas from their news article.  The word cloud will be used twice in the movie, once right after the title slide, and one at the end. Students may get pictures from Pics4Learning or from commons.wikipedia.org/wiki

This is the required order for the video: 
1. Title (could be over an image, or just a title made in Drawing Pad). 

2.  Word Cloud 

3.  A picture

4.  Supporting idea (Made using Drawing Pad or Big Words)

5.  Picture

6.  Supporting idea

7.  Picture

8.  Supporting idea

9.  Picture

10. Your feelings about the article.

11. Word Cloud (same as before)

12. Add music from the theme music.  Make sure the music matches the type of news article that you reported on.

5 Wrap-Up

Activity: Assessing

To assess the project, have students go to Newsela.com and take the online quiz that is found on the Newsela website for the article they read. (Many of the news articles have Common Core quizes).  The reading on Newsela can be adjusted to the student's Lexile level, and so can the quizes.  Have students share their 30 second videos with the class, so the class can learn about a variety of current events.