Cluster 1: Key Ideas and Details

General Information
Number: LAFS.7.RI.1
Title: Key Ideas and Details
Type: Cluster
Subject: English Language Arts
Grade: 7
Strand: Reading Standards for Informational Text

Related Standards

This cluster includes the following benchmarks.

Related Access Points

This cluster includes the following access points.

Access Points

LAFS.7.RI.1.AP.1a
Use two or more pieces of evidence to support inferences, conclusions or summaries of text.
LAFS.7.RI.1.AP.2a
Determine the central idea of a text
LAFS.7.RI.1.AP.2b
Analyze the development of the central idea over the course of the text.
LAFS.7.RI.1.AP.2c
Provide/create an objective summary of a text.
LAFS.7.RI.1.AP.3a
Analyze how the interactions of individuals influence ideas or events.
LAFS.7.RI.1.AP.3b
Analyze how ideas or events influence individuals.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this topic.

Lesson Plans

A Search for Central Ideas: Examining Florida Wildlife:

In this lesson, students will work on identifying use of text features, and determining the meaning of selected vocabulary, key details, and central ideas in two informational texts in the form of brochures, brochures created by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission about Florida manatees and alligators. Graphic organizers and answer keys are provided, as well as the brochures, and resources to help with the review of text features and central ideas.

Type: Lesson Plan

Brochures: A Creative Format for the Study of Informational Texts :

In this lesson, students will work with two informational texts in the form of brochures, texts about Burmese pythons and lionfish. With the lionfish brochure, students will identify the text features used, determine the central ideas and key supporting details, and work with selected vocabulary. Students will then be provided with informational text on a different animal and they will put their skills to use to create a brochure of their own. Various graphic organizers and teacher resources have been included as attachments with the lesson plan, including a rubric for the students' brochure. Additional resources have also been provided in the Further Recommendations section to help teachers gather resources for students to use to create their own brochure.

Type: Lesson Plan

Ribbons: Using Mini-Research to Unravel Ancient Chinese Practices:

This series of lessons/unit is a short research project designed to help students learn more about the experience of foot binding discussed in the short story "Ribbons" by Laurence Yep. Students will research foot binding using provided sources as well as reliable sources they have chosen on their own. Students will use digital media in addition to speaking and listening skills to present their findings to the class. The project assignment, various checklists, and a project/presentation rubric have been provided, as well as several sites that students can use to begin their research.

Type: Lesson Plan

Child Soldiers Lesson 2: The Music of a War Child:

In this lesson, students will listen to a song, read a biography, and then view a speech, all from a former child soldier from the Sudan and current international hip-hop star Emmanuel Jal. Students will examine the information presented in all three formats by taking Cornell Notes and then participate in a fishbowl discussion based on the lesson's guiding questions. As a summative assessment, students will write a paragraph answering one of the guiding questions, supporting their ideas with text evidence. This is the second lesson of a three-part unit that will build towards having the students research and write a paper on child soldiers.

Unit overview: This unit will guide students though the process of reading multiple texts to develop knowledge about the topic of child soldiers and will culminate in a final research project. The first lesson focuses on news articles while the second lesson concentrates on one former child soldier's story as portrayed through interviews and his music. As a whole, the unit integrates close reading of multiple sources with speaking and listening activities and provides students with opportunities to write routinely from sources throughout the unit. The unit provides ample occasions for students to read, evaluate, and analyze complex texts as well as routine writing opportunities that encourage reflection.

Type: Lesson Plan

Child Soldiers Lesson 1: Analysis of News Articles:

In this lesson, students will read a series of three news articles about Sudanese efforts to disband child soldier units. Working in small groups, then partners, and finally independently, students will work to determine the meaning of selected vocabulary from each article, respond to text-dependent questions, and complete a graphic organizer answering the lesson's guiding questions and citing evidence from the text in support of their analysis. Students will then write an extended paragraph in response to one guiding question of their choosing. This is the first lesson of a three part unit that will build towards having the students research and write a paper on child soldiers.

Unit overview: This unit will guide students though the process of reading multiple texts to develop knowledge about the topic of child soldiers and will culminate in a final research project. The first lesson focuses on news articles while the second lesson concentrates on one former child soldier's story as portrayed through interviews and his music. As a whole, the unit integrates close reading of multiple sources with speaking and listening activities and provides students with opportunities to write routinely from sources throughout the unit. The unit provides ample occasions for students to read, evaluate, and analyze complex texts as well as routine writing opportunities that encourage reflection.

Type: Lesson Plan

Incursion of the Lionfish: Text Features, Text Structure, and Author's Central Idea- A Close Read:

In this lesson, students will conduct a close read of an informational text about the invasion of lionfish in the Gulf of Mexico. Students will work to determine the meaning of selected vocabulary, determine the author's central idea, and analyze how the use of text features and the cause/effect text structure support and develop the author's central idea. Text-dependent questions and a key, an annotation handout, text feature cards for review, and a friendly letter template and writing rubric for the summative assessment have been included with the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Freak the Mighty: Morquio Mini Research:

This lesson plan is a short research project designed to help students learn more about Kevin’s disease in Freak the Mighty.  Students will research Morquio syndrome using provided sources as well as reliable sources they have chosen on their own. Students will use digital media in addition to speaking and listening skills to present their findings to the class. Throughout the lesson, students will have ample opportunity to develop and refine reading, writing and speaking and listening skills to work towards mastery of the lesson objectives. Checklists and a project/presentation rubric have been provided with the lesson, as well as several sites that students can use to begin their research.  

Type: Lesson Plan

O' Oysters! The Opposite of Hero is not a Villain; It's a Bystander!:

Who knew the eldest Oyster could have saved them all? This lesson is the final lesson in a three-lesson series and can be used on its own or as the culmination of a unit using the poem "The Walrus and the Carpenter" by Lewis Carroll. In this final lesson, the poem's lessons are used to introduce an informational text on bullying and the bystander effect. The lesson involves close reading, chunking the text into digestible parts using a graphic organizer, text-dependent questions, and a narrative essay summative assessment.

Type: Lesson Plan

Sleep On It: A Close Reading Lesson:

In this lesson, students will conduct a close read of the article, "Why Teenagers Really do Need an Extra Hour in Bed" by Russell Foster (published on April 22, 2013 in Issue 2913 of NewScientist). For the first reading, students will focus on academic vocabulary. In the second reading, students will answer text-dependent questions to guide their comprehension of the article. In the third close reading, students will choose important facts in the article and cross-reference them with other articles to determine the validity and reliability of the evidence. Graphic organizers and worksheets, along with suggested keys and a writing rubric, have been provided. For the summative assessment, students will write a persuasive letter in which they make a claim regarding sleep and support it with textual evidence.

Type: Lesson Plan

Benjamin Franklin - A Man of Amazing Accomplishments: A Close Read:

In this lesson, students will conduct a close read of an excerpt from The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin. For the first close read, students will focus on multiple meaning vocabulary words and will define them and write their own sentences using the words. In the second close read, students will answer questions about the text using textual evidence. These questions will lead them to analyze characteristics and events in the life of a young Ben Franklin. As students read the excerpt a third time, they will develop a research question about how a characteristic or event in the life of young Ben Franklin influenced an accomplishment of an older, mature Ben Franklin. Students will research the life of Ben Franklin to answer their questions in a one to two page paper, which they will ultimately share with their peers for the summative assessment.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading: "For this is an Enchanted Land," an excerpt from Cross Creek:

In this lesson, students will conduct three close readings of an excerpt from Cross Creek by Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings.

For the first reading, the students will complete a graphic organizer to define select vocabulary words. In the second reading, students will complete another graphic organizer to analyze the types of figurative language used in the story and how they impact the tone and meaning. They will also complete a T-chart comparing and contrasting the sensory details used to describe a before and after of the author's home. In the final reading, students will answer text-based questions about the excerpt. Answer keys for the graphic organizers and text-based questions are included.

The summative assessment, in the form of a narrative/descriptive essay, will require the students to choose a special place of their own and describe it with specific words and figurative language that convey the appropriate tone.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading Exemplar: The Secrets Behind What You Eat:

This close reading exemplar uses an excerpt from Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma: The Secrets Behind What You Eat. The goal of this two day exemplar from Student Achievement Partners web resources is to give students the opportunity to use reading and writing habits to unpack Pollan's investigative journalism of industrial farms. By reading and rereading the passage closely combined with classroom discussion about it, students will identify why and how farming practices have changed, as well as identify Pollan's point of view on the subject. When combined with writing about the passage and teacher feedback, students will begin to appreciate investigative journalism, as well as question from where their food is coming.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading Exemplar: My Mother, the Scientist:

The goal of this three day exemplar from Student Achievement Partner web resources is to give students the opportunity to use reading and writing habits to absorb deep lessons from Charles Hirshberg's recollections of his mother. By reading and rereading the passage closely and focusing their reading through a series of questions and discussions about the text, students will identify how much his mother's struggles and accomplishments meant to both Hirshberg and the wider world. When combined with writing about the passage, and possibly pairing this exemplar study with Richard Feynman's memoir "The Making of a Scientist," students will discover how much they can learn from this mixed genre memoir/biography about what inspires life choices.

Type: Lesson Plan

A Christmas Memory:

In this lesson, students will read the autobiographical story "A Christmas Memory" by Truman Capote and watch a film version, determining what was emphasized in each account. Students will then write an extended paragraph comparing how the content is addressed through the different mediums of print and film. This activity will develop students' analytical reading and viewing skills, including evaluating the author's / director's craft and purpose.

Type: Lesson Plan

Analysis of a Political News Article:

Students will read a news article on an immigration policy being presented by the President just prior to election. Students will determine the essential message of the article, examine the information presented to determine author intent, and write a written response citing evidence from the text.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading Exemplar: "Unbroken" and "Farewell to Manzanar":

As students will have previous exposure to the historical themes and factual information about the attacks on Pearl Harbor, the United States involvement in WWII, and the internment of Japanese in camps throughout the western United States, this lesson exemplar will allow students to participate in critical discussion of two stories that illuminate important, yet divergent, experiences of war and conflict. This lesson exemplar will push students to think critically about the experience of wartime as felt by both soldiers and civilians as they navigated specific trials that were a part of their direct or peripheral involvement in WWII.

Type: Lesson Plan

Graphic Organizers For Science Reading/Writing:

This activity emphasizes the importance of teaching reading and writing strategies for students to use with informational text.

Type: Lesson Plan

Setting A Purpose For Reading Using Informational Text:

Students learn to set a purpose for reading informational text before reading by turning the title and subtitles into questions.

Type: Lesson Plan

The Wednesday Wars: Vietnam Mini Research:

The setting of the novel The Wednesday Wars occurs during a significant period of American history. As an introduction to this novel, students will research the Vietnam War using provided sources as well as reliable sources they have chosen on their own. Students will use digital media in addition to speaking and listening skills to present their findings to the class. Links to selected introductory videos about the Vietnam War, student checklists, a presentation/project rubric, and a digital project sample have been provided with the lesson, as well as several sites that students can use to begin their research.

Type: Lesson Plan

Using a Before-Reading Organizer with Informational Text:

Before reading, create a graphic organizer that uses the titles and subtitles of an informational text.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorials

How Events Influence Individuals and Ideas – Part Three:

Examine how a significant event can influence individuals and ideas in this tutorial series about one of the most studied human injuries of all time. Read excerpts from John Fleischman’s book, Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science to learn about a young man’s remarkable survival after a near-fatal accident. 

This tutorial is Part Three of a three-part series. Make sure to complete the other parts first.

Click  to launch Part One.

Click HERE to launch Part Two. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

How Events Influence Individuals and Ideas – Part Two:

Examine how a significant event can influence individuals and ideas in this tutorial series about one of the most studied human injuries of all time. Read excerpts from John Fleischman’s book Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science to learn about a young man’s remarkable survival after a near-fatal accident. 

This tutorial is Part Two in a three-part series. Make sure to complete Part One first. Click  to launch Part One.

Then, make sure to complete Part Three! Click HERE to launch Part Three.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

How Events Influence Individuals and Ideas – Part One:

Examine how a significant event can influence individuals and ideas in this interactive tutorial series about one of the most studied human injuries of all time. Read excerpts from John Fleischman’s book Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science to learn about a young man’s remarkable survival after a near-fatal accident. Phineas Gage, at the age of twenty-six, survived a traumatic brain injury that would not only challenge the scientific understandings of his time but would also provide interesting revelations about the human brain to this day.

In Part One, you’ll begin to identify what makes a particular event significant, such as how a life-altering injury—like what happened to Phineas Gage—can influence an individual. 

This tutorial is Part One of a three-part series. Make sure to complete all three parts!

Click  to launch Part Two.

Click HERE to launch Part Three.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Game On: Finding the Central Idea:

Learn how to identify the central idea within a text. In this interactive tutorial, you'll read an article about video games to practice identifying and explaining the central idea of a passage or text.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Sacagawea: Evidence of Fearlessness:

Learn to identify evidence within a text to support inferences. In this interactive tutorial, you'll read all about Sacagawea—the Native American woman who helped Lewis and Clark on their expedition into the American wilderness. You'll practice identifying key pieces of evidence that support inferences that can be made from the text. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Frederick Douglass: The Art of Interaction:

Examine the interactions between individuals, ideas, and events using excerpts from the book Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. In this interactive tutorial, you'll explore the relationships and events that helped shape Douglass's life and his courageous quest for freedom. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Teaching Ideas

Summer Olympics - Ideas for English Language Learners :

The first ELL teaching idea on this site (found under "Articles") focuses on the understanding of the word "perseverance" as it relates to Olympic athletes who have had to overcome various challenges to be able to compete. Multiple text types (photo, video, articles) address a variety of learners' modalities. Other teaching ideas focus on health and fitness, what inspires you, and even public interest in sports being motivated by popular books and movies. Each idea can stand on its own or multiple ideas can be combined into a thematic unit.

Type: Teaching Idea

Finding Science through Reading Science Fiction:

In this ReadWriteThink.org lesson, students will be able to explore the genre of science fiction, while learning more about the science integrated into the plot of the story using nonfiction texts and resources. First, students define the science fiction genre and then read and discuss science fiction texts. Next, they conduct research to find science facts that support or dispute the science included in the plot of the science fiction book they read. Students then revisit their definition of the genre and revise based on their reading. Finally, students complete a project that examines the science fiction genre in relation to real-world science concepts and topics. This lesson plan makes the connections between the worlds in science fiction and students' real world explicit by asking them to explore the underlying science that supports the fictional world and considering its relationship to the real science in today's society.

Type: Teaching Idea

Peer Summarizing Activity:

In this hands-on activity, students explore the skill of summarizing through peer writings as they travel the classroom a la musical chairs.

Type: Teaching Idea

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this topic.

Original Student Tutorials

How Events Influence Individuals and Ideas – Part Three:

Examine how a significant event can influence individuals and ideas in this tutorial series about one of the most studied human injuries of all time. Read excerpts from John Fleischman’s book, Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science to learn about a young man’s remarkable survival after a near-fatal accident. 

This tutorial is Part Three of a three-part series. Make sure to complete the other parts first.

Click  to launch Part One.

Click HERE to launch Part Two. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

How Events Influence Individuals and Ideas – Part Two:

Examine how a significant event can influence individuals and ideas in this tutorial series about one of the most studied human injuries of all time. Read excerpts from John Fleischman’s book Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science to learn about a young man’s remarkable survival after a near-fatal accident. 

This tutorial is Part Two in a three-part series. Make sure to complete Part One first. Click  to launch Part One.

Then, make sure to complete Part Three! Click HERE to launch Part Three.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

How Events Influence Individuals and Ideas – Part One:

Examine how a significant event can influence individuals and ideas in this interactive tutorial series about one of the most studied human injuries of all time. Read excerpts from John Fleischman’s book Phineas Gage: A Gruesome but True Story About Brain Science to learn about a young man’s remarkable survival after a near-fatal accident. Phineas Gage, at the age of twenty-six, survived a traumatic brain injury that would not only challenge the scientific understandings of his time but would also provide interesting revelations about the human brain to this day.

In Part One, you’ll begin to identify what makes a particular event significant, such as how a life-altering injury—like what happened to Phineas Gage—can influence an individual. 

This tutorial is Part One of a three-part series. Make sure to complete all three parts!

Click  to launch Part Two.

Click HERE to launch Part Three.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Game On: Finding the Central Idea:

Learn how to identify the central idea within a text. In this interactive tutorial, you'll read an article about video games to practice identifying and explaining the central idea of a passage or text.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Sacagawea: Evidence of Fearlessness:

Learn to identify evidence within a text to support inferences. In this interactive tutorial, you'll read all about Sacagawea—the Native American woman who helped Lewis and Clark on their expedition into the American wilderness. You'll practice identifying key pieces of evidence that support inferences that can be made from the text. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Frederick Douglass: The Art of Interaction:

Examine the interactions between individuals, ideas, and events using excerpts from the book Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass. In this interactive tutorial, you'll explore the relationships and events that helped shape Douglass's life and his courageous quest for freedom. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this topic.