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Presidents of America [Main Idea & Key Details] Reading Unit of Study

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Presidents of America: Main Idea and Key Details Reading Unit Of Study

Thank you for your interest our “Targeted Reading Strategies: Identifying the Main Idea and Key Details” pack! In using this mini-unit, you will be teaching your students to identify the main idea and key details while reading a nonfiction text.

During the five-day scope of this unit, your students will practice identifying the main idea and key details in nonfiction books. We have included a list of 3 suggested mentor texts. Students will work on asking questions to guide their own reading, identifying the main idea of a section and a whole text, connecting important details together, and retelling key details to support the main idea. Being able to read to understand the main idea and the details that support it is a key component of reading nonfiction at multiple grade levels. We have paced this pack as a short 5-day unit, but it can easily be stretched into a two-week long unit by spending two days per reading lesson and providing your students with additional time to practice the targeted skills.

We have provided a Letter to Caregivers to introduce the unit to your students’ families and a rubric to close the unit. We chose to focus this unit on United States presidents, a popular reading and social studies topic in our classrooms. However, this topic or the mentor text choices can easily be modified based on the interests and reading levels of your class.

While teaching this unit, you will be targeting some key Common Core State Standards for second and third grade:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.1. Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.2. Identify the main topic of a multiparagraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.3. Describe the connection between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.6. Identify the main purpose of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.8. Describe how reasons support specific points the author makes in a text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.2.1. Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.2.2. Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.1. Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.2. Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.3. Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.7. Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.8. Describe the logical connection between particular sentences and paragraphs in a text (e.g., comparison, cause/effect, first/second/third in a sequence).
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.3.1. Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grade 3 topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.3.2. Determine the main ideas and supporting details of a text read aloud or information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.3.4. Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

Have fun watching your students grow as nonfiction readers and practice identifying the main idea and important supporting details through this targeted mini-unit!

Be sure to check out our other Reading Units of Study:
Unit 1: Constructing Our Reading Lives
Unit 2: Flexing Our Reading Muscles
Unit 3: Investigating the Minds of Characters
Unit 4: Navigating Through Nonfiction
Unit 5: Revving Up For Series Reading
Unit 6: Diving Deeper Into Nonfiction

Here are our units of study focused on amazing authors and texts:
Ezra Jack Keats: Reader's and Writer's Workshop Author Series
Nancy Carlson: Reader's and Writer's Workshop Author Series
The Polar Express: A Reading and Writing Unit of Study

Here are our units of study focused on Targeted Reading Skills:
Fables and Folktales [Central Message and Story Elements] Reading Unit of Study
Fairy Tales [Comparing and Contrasting Characters] Reading Unit of Study
Little Red Riding Hood [Point of View] Reading Unit of Study
Martin Luther King, Jr. [Author's Purpose and Main Ideas] Reading Unit of Study
Polar Animals [Text Features in Nonfiction Texts] Reading Unit of Study
Presidents of America [Main Idea & Key Details] Reading Unit of Study
The Human Body [Comparing & Contrasting Texts] Reading Unit of Study

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Total Pages
19 pages
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