The Power to Determine Importance

posted Mar 24, 2011, 4:49 PM by Patrick Johnson
It has been a busy week back at school. This week I introduced students to a new non-fiction reading power: The Power to Determine Importance. Students and I discussed that when you read non-fiction books there is often a lot of information presented. Some of the information is important and some might have interesting details added. Good active readers are able to sift through information and figure out what information is really important. In our unit students will learn how to determine what is the most important information in what they are reading and how they can find it.

We started our unit by playing a game. Students were told to pretend that they were going to try and survive on an island for one year. If they survived, they would be given a large fortune. They were aloud to take 15 items that they could carry on their adventure. Students made there list and shared their list with a partner. Then they were told that they had to narrow their list down to 10 items. Again they shared there list with a partner and were allowed to make any changes they wished. Next they narrowed down their list to 5 items and finally shared with the rest of the class their top 3 items. During this activity students had to use a very important thinking strategy that active readers use: determining importance. They did this by thinking, discussing and choosing what items were essential to survive. Students did a terrific job with this activity!