LESSON THREE: Topic Choice Begins



Students and teacher develop a whole group Venn Diagram, emphasizing the essential elements. Students begin topic selection.



R3C         Use details from texts to answer questions, retell main idea and important details, organize a sequence of events, identify simple cause and effect, draw conclusions, compare and contrast texts, identify author’s purpose for writing text, and make inferences about problems and solutions.

IL1          Formulate keywords and questions to investigate topics.



§         Sources of literature 


§         Supplies 

o        Large group Venn Diagram on chart paper or whiteboard

o        Touchstone text 3

o        Writer’s notebook/pencils


§         Handouts provided

o        None


§         Words to know

o        author’s purpose

o        cause and effect

o        compare

o        contrast

o        draw conclusions

o        keywords

o        retell

o        main idea



Teacher observation, viewing of student notebooks, and anecdotal records.




1.        Develop a whole group Venn Diagram. Student share data/information from their Venn diagrams which they completed the day before.  Examine the differences in techniques authors use and the types of information each one includes in their books. Students continue to develop knowledge of the common threads in nonfiction animal picture books.





What strategies do the author’s use that is similar?

Does it seem like the author’s talked to each other about what information to include in their books? Why?

What information seems to be the most important?


2.        Discuss possible topics. Give reasons why students might choose a particular topic.


3.        Show students the nonfiction picture book you will use. Read the text to students, highlighting essential elements, as well as, the types of information found within the nonfiction animal picture book. This will help students build background knowledge of essential/non-essential information.




I chose this topic because:

I am interested in this topic.

I have some background knowledge and I would like to learn more.

I have a unique reason/purpose.


4.        In their writer’s notebooks, student list possible topics. Students develop a list of animals they would like to research. Students list questions they would like to have answered about a particular animal.


5.        Talk with students individually as you make anecdotal records.