The following is a list of great teaching strategies:
- The teacher serves as a model and summarizes in few words the first and second paragraph in the text. “We’ll find the most important parts in the first paragraph. Here, we’re CSI agents, and we’re investigating because we want to find the most important clues the book’s author has given us. How do cops solve crimes? They ask questions, think and find important clues and other useless clues. The same thing happens when reading. Some of the things the author says are important, and others are not useful to us. We have to discover who’s the main character in the paragraph, what happens to him, what he does to solve the problem, etc. Well, the main character in the story is a firefly that can’t produce light and asks for help. In this case, it asks an electrician for help. And that’s it, this paragraph says that the firefly can’t produce light anymore and asks for help to solve its problem. Then we see the second paragraph, who’s the main character? What happens to him? What does he do? What’s the reply? Here, the firefly asks help from a vet, and he says the problem is that the firefly is tired, and it needs to see a doctor. We’ve finally found out what happened. The firefly lost its light because it’s sad and tired, and it asks for help. This is the main message of everything we read.”
- Guided practice. With the help of the entire classroom, we extract the main ideas from all the paragraphs but the last. To help them, we write in the blackboard: Who? What? Why? What for? The children answer the questions, which leads them to the main idea. You can also use the visualization technique, imagining a scene of what was read in the paragraph, and drawing it on the blackboard, completing the drawings.
- Independent practice. They have to briefly summarize the last paragraph by themselves. You ask them to imagine the scene, and give them an incomplete drawing of it. They must complete it and write the main idea. The drawing helps them understand it and discovering the important parts in the paragraph.
- You say the cop has almost solved the mystery and discovered the end of the message. It’s just a matter of joining all the clues in the paragraphs, and to do that, we need to think a little bit more.