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        4-8, 13+

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        Identifying Important and Unimportant Details - An Ornithologist's Job

        Students distinguish between important and unimportant details and, acting as news reporters, write an article about the job of an ornithologist.

        Lesson Summary


        Pretending to be news reporters, students watch a video segment narrated by an ornithologist. They note important and unimportant information and then write a news article about the job of an ornithologist.

        Why is this an important concept?

        Learners critically analyze texts by identifying which details are important to note. This skill allows learners to focus and organize their thinking and their understanding of text.

        Grade Level:


        Suggested Time

        (2) 50-minute periods

        Media Resources


        The Lesson

        Part I: Learning Activity

        Day 1

        1. Tell students they are going to see what it is like to be a news reporter. Their assignment is to write a feature article about the job of an ornithologist. The purpose of the article will be to describe what an ornithologist does.

        2. Show the first segment, "Meet Jarrod." Ask students to think about what information in the segment is important to include in the lead of their article.

        3. Distribute copies of the handout Reporter's Notes, Part I handout. As a class, note some of the important and unimportant details to include in their articles from this first segment. Write notes on a transparency or on an enlarged copy of the handout. Students copy the notes on their handouts.

        4. Show the second segment, "An Ornithologist's Job." As they watch, students should note important and unimportant details on their handouts.

        5. Show the second segment again. This time, ask students to check their facts and fill in any details they may have missed.

        6. After viewing, allow two minutes for students to share their notes with a partner and add to their notes as needed. Then discuss as a whole class.

        Day 2

        Distribute and explain the handout Reporter's Notes, Part II handout,  an inverted news pyramid. Students should sort notes from the first handout onto this one. This will organize their notes in the order they will appear in their articles. Then, students will complete the assessment.

        For students who need additional teacher guidance:

        1. Review note-taking strategies before watching the segments.

        2. Provide assistance with taking notes while watching the video by pausing the video at intervals to allow time for note-taking.

        3. Provide opportunities for students to view video additional times.

        Part II: Assessment

        Students will write a news article using the important details from their notes about the video. Directions are provided on the Featured News Article handout. Assess the story with the Featured News Article rubric. Be sure students hand in their Reporter's Notes, Parts I and II, with their articles.


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