This resource is a link to a youtube video on the Great Famine (part one). It includes a series of images and a clear, fact-filled lecture on the content. The resource could be used as a reference for students to support independent learning or it could be integrated into a teacher-directed lesson. The narrator speaks slowly and a viewing guide might be helpful for assist students in note-taking and identifying key information.
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Prior to the lesson a teacher should create a large chart piece of paper into two columns. Label each column with one of the following: Gists and My thinking. Group Size: Any Learning Objectives:
Students will determine the main ideas of a text.
Students will separate the main and supporting details of a text.
Students will summarize an entire text in a few sentences as possible.
Students will apply their metacognition and thinking to a text.
Why is it important for a reader to separate the supporting details from the main ideas of a text? How will ultimately help a reader to fully grasp and understand a text? Materials:
1. A Getting The Gist graphic organizer for each student.
2. Chart paper divided into two columns (Gists and My Thinking)
3. One copy of Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan by Mary Williams
1. Ask students: Why is it difficult to remember all information in a text while you are reading, especially nonfiction? Have students silently think about their ideas and then share them with a partner.
2. Discuss the student's answers as a whole class. Tell students that many times when good readers are reading, they are looking to find the gist of a passage. Ask them: What a gist is?
3. Tell students that getting the gist of what you are reading means getting the biggest ideas, the most important pieces of information. Discuss why it is so crucial for students to understand the biggest ideas of the text, the gist.
4. Getting the gist allows students to summarize a text because they have pulled out the most important pieces of information and then they can retell the story through the biggest ideas. Ask students: Why is it important when retelling a story to only give the gist or the biggest ideas?
5. Tell students to think about the story, "The Three Little Pigs". Ask them to retell the story to a partner.
6. Have students share their versions of "The Three Little Pigs." Make sure students are only sharing the most crucial pieces of information, we don't need to know that a pig didn't have a name or that they worked hard to build their houses. We don't even need to know what each pig made his house from. A gist would sound something like this:
Three pig brothers each built their house out of different items. Unfortunately a big bad wolf came to each of their houses and threatened to blow them down. Two of the pigs weren't smart and the pig was able to blow their house down and then eat them, but one pig was smart enough to build a house where the wolf couldn't come in, so he tried to enter through the chimney and was boiled up. This piggie learned that it was important to build things as well as you could the first time.
Let students know that this is telling a summary of a story only using the gist. Ask students: How are your stories different from the gist I just told?How does the gist of the "Three Little Pigs" sound for a reader? Are you able to determine what was most important in the story?
Discuss how the gist gives the big idea of the story not just small details and facts. Remind students that getting the gist and writing a summary doesn't mean they are just retelling the facts. They need to give the big idea of the overall story.
7. Tell students you are going to read the story, "Brothers In Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan," and while you are reading, the class will be determining the gist and incorporate their own thinking into the text's ideas. Ask students: How does incorporating your own metacognition and thinking help you to remember the information from the text and get a better understanding of it?
Students should infer that when they add their own thinking, they are able to connect to the text and add what they think is most important about the information. It gives them a chance to ask questions and really delve into the text deeper.
8.Hand students a gist graphic organizer and put the whole class gist chart on the board for all students to see.
9. Have students turn to one another and make predictions about the text, "Brothers of Hope." Allow them to share their thoughts with the class.
10. Begin reading the first two pages of "Brother of Hope" to the students and model how to determine the gist of a text on the chart paper.
Gist of the first two pages: "Garang, a young boy from Sudan, lived on a farm where he learned to tend cattle." Ask students: How is this a good gist from the first two pages?
Students should determine that only the big ideas are highlighted, whereas small details aren't needed.
Add your thinking to the gist. Here are some sample thoughts: "What changed Garang's entire life? Garang probably would grow up to learn his father's trade."
Have students share their own thoughts to the gist.
11. Read pages three and four and model your gist and thinking on the chart paper.
Gist of pages three and four: "Garang's village was attacked and he hid in the forest."
Thoughts about pages three and four: "I think Garang should feel lucky that he was far away from his village when it was attacked."
Discuss with the students how the gist and thoughts relate to the text.
12. Read page five and model your gist and thinking on the chart paper.
Gist of pages five and six: "Garang went to his village and everything was destroyed. He couldn't find his family, so he met up with many other boys who were in the same situation."
Thoughts about pages five and sice: "What a scary experience for all of the boys to be without their families. How will they be able to survive on their own?"
Discuss with students how the gist and thoughts relate to the text.
13. Read page six to the students. Have them determine the gist and their thinking with a partner. Then discuss the gist and thinking with the whole class.
14. Continue reading the text until you have finished.
15. Sample gist and thoughts are provided as an attached file.
16. After reading all of the text and determining the gist and student's thoughts. Have students write an abbreviated summary of the text. Have students write their own summaries and then model a good sample summary:
Sample Summary: Villages in Sudan, Africa, were attacked and destroyed with only the boys surviving. The boys bonded together and decided to trek to Ethiopia where there was no war, but they encountered many challenges on the way. When they arrived they were led to a refugee camp so they could get food and water. They stayed at the refugee camp for awhile, but they were forced to leave because war had come. Finally they went to Kenya and later to the United Stateds to avoid war and start a new life.
Students can write this sample summary on their summary guideline sheet in their Revolutionary War packet. It will help them to have a sample to guide them when writing their own summaries of the Revolutionary War novels.
17. Ask students: How can writing a summary help you to understand the text and remember the most important pieces of information?
18. Discuss with students how important it is for them to use all of the gists they have written to write an effective summary to get the big picture of a text.
Monitor student's ability to determine how to find a gist and incorporate their thinking on the graphic organizer.
Monitor student's ability to write a summary based on their gists from the story. Answer Key or Rubric:
Find sample gists from "Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan," attached below the lesson plan. Benchmark or Standards:
The Standards for the English Language Arts:
Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, interpret, evaluate, and appreciate texts.
Students read a wide range of print and non-print texts to build an
understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the
United States and the word; to acquire new information; to respond to
the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal