Cluster 1: Key Ideas and Details

General Information
Number: LAFS.6.RI.1
Title: Key Ideas and Details
Type: Cluster
Subject: English Language Arts
Grade: 6
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.6.RI.1.AP.1a
Use textual evidence to support inferences.
LAFS.6.RI.1.AP.2a
Provide a summary of the text based on details from the text.
LAFS.6.RI.1.AP.3a
Identify key individuals, events or ideas in a text.
LAFS.6.RI.1.AP.3b
Determine how key individuals, events or ideas are introduced in a text.
LAFS.6.RI.1.AP.3c
Determine how key individuals, events or ideas are illustrated in a text.
LAFS.6.RI.1.AP.3d
Determine how key individuals, events or ideas are elaborated or expanded on in a text.

Related Resources

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

Formative Assessments

Summarizing a Safe Thrill :

The student will objectively summarize the article “A Safe Thrill” and will analyze how the central idea regarding roller coaster safety is conveyed through supporting details throughout the text. The student will read the article with a partner by taking turns whisper reading each paragraph. The student will work with his/her partner to record important facts from the article on a graphic organizer. The student will then independently compose a summary.

Type: Formative Assessment

Let's Help the Environment:

The student will read an informational text and answer questions by citing explicit and inferential evidence from text.

Type: Formative Assessment

Elaborate on Roller Coaster Safety :

The student will read the article “A Safe Thrill” to explain the events the author used to introduce, illustrate, and elaborate on the safety issue of roller coasters. The student will complete a graphic organizer and provide a written analysis of how well the author introduced, illustrated, and elaborated on these events in the article.

Type: Formative Assessment

Central Idea and Summarization in "The Promising Ocean":

The student will read an informational text using active reading strategies. After a brief explanation, the student will complete a graphic organizer to summarize small portions of the text. When the student has completed the graphic organizer, he or she will write an objective summary about the text.

Type: Formative Assessment

Introducing and Elaborating on Communication:

The student will read an informational passage and analyze how the main idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated on in the passage. The student will use textual evidence to answer questions on a handout.

Type: Formative Assessment

Technology’s Impact on Society: Citing Textual Evidence:

The student will read an informational text and cite evidence that supports the essential question on how technology has impacted society. The student will cite textual evidence, explicit and inferred, on a graphic organizer and identify which category the information falls under. Students will then write a response to the essential question, using the evidence cited on the graphic organizer.

Type: Formative Assessment

Central Idea and Supporting Details in “Techno-linguistics”:

The student will read an informational text, highlighting the main idea sentence in each paragraph and underlining the supporting details in each paragraph in order to determine the central idea. The student will then identify the central idea of the entire text as well as explain how the author uses paragraph main ideas and other details to convey the central idea. Finally, the student will compose an objective summary of the text.

Type: Formative Assessment

Analyzing Sinkholes: Florida's Hidden Menace:

The student will read an informational text and analyze how a key idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in the text by responding to guiding questions.

Type: Formative Assessment

Textual Evidence in Royal Dogs of the Past:

The student will read an informational passage entitled “Royal Dogs of the Past” and answer guiding questions to analyze what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. The student will cite textual evidence to support his/her answers to the guiding questions.

Type: Formative Assessment

Is Your Claim on Thin Ice? :

The student will read an informational text and highlight text to identify the author’s claim and relevant supportive text information that serves as evidence of the claim. Using a graphic organizer, the student will record the author’s claims and list the supportive evidence. The student will use the graphic organizer information to plan, organize, and present his or her position in writing about the strength of the author’s claim and supportive text evidence for the claim.

Type: Formative Assessment

Only the Facts Please:

The student will read the informational article entitled, “Icebergs in Space,” and will highlight the essential information in each paragraph. The student will determine the main idea of each paragraph and record it on a graphic organizer. The student will gather the most important supporting details from each paragraph and record them on the graphic organizer. The student will use these notes to determine the central idea of the entire piece of text and then write an objective summary that includes the most important details found in the text.

Type: Formative Assessment

Lesson Plans

Climate and Careers!:

Students will explore chosen outdoor careers and how the careers connect to certain climates based on temperature and precipitation. The guiding question states "How might you use evidence from weather data and dot plot displays to allow you to identify which location's climate would be best for your career and why?" Students will collect data online and display the data using dot plots on posters with analysis using the mean. Students will engage in collaboration throughout. A power point is included with all necessary resources.

Type: Lesson Plan

Understanding the DNA Replication Process using Reading Strategies:

Students will use reading strategies to help them understand how the DNA replication process works.

Type: Lesson Plan

"Breaking the Code" to Central Idea:

This lesson challenges students to use strategies of "chunking" and "text coding" to identify the central or main idea of passages, both informational and literary. The end result is a written summary that explains the processes they used.

Type: Lesson Plan

Texting "Mainia":

In this lesson, students will practice identifying the main idea and supporting details of a text, and then synthesizing this information into an expository summary.

Type: Lesson Plan

Earth's Spheres WebQuest:

This WebQuest is designed for 6th grade students. Students will work individually or in pairs to explore interactive websites and answer the questions on their Task Sheet. This is designed as an introduction to Earth's spheres (Hydrosphere, Atmosphere, Cryosphere, Biosphere, Geosphere) and how these spheres interact to support life on our planet.

Type: Lesson Plan

CIS Lesson: Hazards of Hurricanes:

In this lesson tied to English/Language Arts Standards, students receive support as they read a complex informational text about the effects of hurricanes. The teacher facilitates a close reading and writing a response-to-text.

Type: Lesson Plan

An Exploration of Text Sets: Supporting all Readers:

In this lesson, students create text sets and use them to practice three strategies for reading for information. Students select a topic they want to explore and work in small groups to compile a set of texts related to their topic. Each group discusses their topic, jotting notes and images on a large piece of paper as they talk. They then explore the texts they have gathered, adding more information to the paper to create a "graffiti board" focusing on their topic. Next, students generate a list of key words they think that they'll find if a text contains specific information that they're looking for. After the teacher models skimming text for key words, students use the strategy on their own text sets. Finally, students are given sustained reading time, followed by writing time without the text, allowing them to put the information they have learned into their own words.

Type: Lesson Plan

Arguing for the Sake of WINNING!:

This lesson is based on teaching 6th graders the art of assertively communicating in argumentative writing. They will use the topic of "Banning Cell Phones in Schools" to practice identifying a topic, exploring the PROS and CONS of the topic, identifying arguments and then supporting those arguments with details and evidence. They will write in the form of an argumentative letter and the culminating activity will be a presentation to the principal of their school, who is considering banning cell phones in the school.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading Exemplar: "The Great Fire":

The goal of this three day exemplar is to give students the opportunity to use the reading and writing habits they've been practicing on a regular basis to explore the historic Great Fire of Chicago. By reading and rereading the passage closely combined with classroom discussion about it, students will explore the historical truths related to poverty, city construction, and city services that led to the disaster. In this reading, students learn about historical disasters, but they may not fully comprehend causes or how human actions, nature, or even luck contributed to them, rendering history a flat subject to be memorized rather than explored. When combined with writing about the passage and teacher feedback, students will better understand the dangers inherent in cities and the government role in mitigating that danger.

Type: Lesson Plan

I've Got It Covered! Creating Magazine Covers to Summarize Text:

Students can improve their comprehension of content area textbooks by summarizing chapters in the form of magazine covers. The lesson begins by asking students to examine a magazine and discuss the ways in which the magazine cover's headlines and graphics express the main ideas of its articles. They then review a chapter in a content area textbook and use an interactive tool to create a magazine cover that summarizes the textbook information. This process enables students to form connections and create visual representations to share information. Although the focus is on informational texts, this assignment could potentially be expanded to include other types of text as well.

Type: Lesson Plan

Parachutes For Sale:

The students will be asked to help a company choose a design to market for their new business. The company gives students four prototypes to begin with, but asks the students to create one of their own if they wish to further the research. After choosing one of the models and writing a report to declare their findings and explain their reasoning, students will then be given restrictions to the parachute. They are asked to find a material that is light yet strong, and resistant to tearing and breaking. Students will have to create parachutes using the chosen model but made with different materials to establish the best overall material.

Type: Lesson Plan

Positive Steps: Using The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens:

In this multi-day lesson, students will become familiar with The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens by Sean Covey. In addition to taking ownership of the habits by tracking their own Personal Bank Account, students will work collaboratively to conduct brief research and create a presentation on one of the habits. After sharing their multimedia presentations with the class, students will determine which one is most important to them personally. Students will write a response to explain how that habit can provide a positive personal impact.

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

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

Views on Freedom: Part 2 of 3:

In this second part of a three-part unit, students first read a nonfiction article by Nelson Mandela about freedom and fill out a rhetorical triangle and an outline to help them understand and process the key points and supporting details. Students will also read and analyze the folk tale "The People Could Fly" for its use of figurative language and literary elements using a chart similar to the poetry chart from Lesson #1. Text-dependent questions for both texts have also been included. In the closure activity students will compare and contrast these texts with a poem they read in the first lesson in the unit as to how each text approaches the topic of freedom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorials

The Pavement Bookworm:

Learn how to use evidence from an informational, nonfiction text to support your analysis of what you have read. In this interactive tutorial you make inferences, or draw conclusions, from a passage about Philani Dladla, "The Pavement Bookworm."

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Exploring Introductions:

Discover how authors of informational texts "hook" their readers in the introduction with techniques like interesting or unusual information, anecdotes, and quotes. Practice spotting these techniques in this interactive tutorial.  

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Robots Come to Life:

Learn how to analyze details from a nonfiction informational text about robots to identify and write about the central idea with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Teaching Idea

Teaching Tolerance: Dr. Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement:

This collection of teaching ideas offers multiple activities to support rich classroom discussions on Dr. King and the events of the Civil Rights Movement. Writing, WebQuests, and other extension ideas are included in this resource.

Type: Teaching Idea

Text Resource

E and I of Citing Textual Evidence:

The student will read an informational text and underline key ideas in the text that address questions provided on a graphic organizer. The student will then write this cited information on the graphic organizer under the appropriate question. Students will next identify if the information is explicitly stated in the text, or if it is an inference. If the answer is stated explicitly in the text, the student will designate it with an “E”. If the answer is implicitly stated in the text, the student will designate with an “I”.

Type: Text Resource

Tutorials

Personification: Cowbirds:

In this tutorial from PBS, students will explore the power of personification in non-fiction while analyzing an author's treatment of his subject in a documentary on cowbirds. They will be able to read informational text, learn and practice vocabulary words, and explore content through videos and interactive activities as they begin to understand how this work uses human motives and emotions to tell the cowbird's story.

Type: Tutorial

Finding the Main Idea:

This 40-question exercise will give you practice in determining the main (central) idea of a paragraph. For each practice item, you will read a short paragraph and determine the main idea based on the details provided.  If you get a question wrong, the program will remind you of your answer and show you the correct answer.

Type: Tutorial

Unit/Lesson Sequences

Analyzing an Autobiography through "Rosa Parks: My Story":

This sixth grade unit on Rosa Parks is a thorough examination of an autobiographical novel and includes the study of author's purpose, main idea, and fact and opinion. It includes a student packet, graphic organizers, a pacing guide, and a unit assessment with sample responses.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Unit Plan for Tru Confessions: Two Wishes to Accomplish:

Tru Confessions is the story of Tru, a teenager whose brother Eddie has special needs. Tru writes in her journal about her wish to find a cure for Eddie and to have her own television show. In this unit, students will examine factors that influence how families, classmates, and people in the community perceive and interact with children with developmental disabilities as they work to summarize key details and events from the text, analyze ways in which the author unfolds the plot, and explain how the author develops the point of view of the narrator and discuss how the text’s characters change.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Using "The Bully" by Paul Langan to Teach Tolerance:

This unit plan uses the book "The Bully" by Paul Langan, which is from the Bluford series, to teach tolerance. There are a plethora of resources and activities including graphic organizers, reflective journals, and reader's theater. Students work together to gain an understanding of the effects of bullying and an awareness of this important issue.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Investigating a Mystery in "Chasing Vermeer":

This sixth grade unit is based on the mystery novel Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett. Students will analyze clues and motives, study plot, and make predictions while learning about the artist Johannes Vermeer. It includes a complete packet with creative activities, graphic organizers, a pacing guide, and an assessment with answer key and possible student responses.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Examining an Autobiography: "The Lost Garden" by Laurence Yep:

This is a sixth grade unit on Laurence Yep's autobiography, The Lost Garden. Students analyze author's purpose and the key characteristics of an autobiography. This unit contains a student packet, pacing guide, and an assessment with answer key and sample student responses. In addition, this unit includes instructional techniques such as a PIES chart, a T chart, and more!

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Analyzing an Autobiography through "Rosa Parks: My Story":

This sixth grade unit on Rosa Parks is a thorough examination of an autobiographical novel and includes the study of author's purpose, main idea, and fact and opinion. It includes a student packet, graphic organizers, a pacing guide, and a unit assessment with sample responses.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Biography Project Which Involves Research and Class Presentation:

Set the stage for high-interest reading with a purpose through a biography project. In this lesson, students work together to generate questions they would like to answer about several well-known people, then each student chooses one of these and finds information by reading a biography from the library and doing Internet research. Students create a graphic organizer (a web) to organize the facts they have found and share what they have learned about their subjects through oral presentations. Students evaluate themselves and their classmates by using a rubric during the research and graphic organizer-creation process and by giving written feedback on one another's presentations. Teachers also evaluate the students' presentations with a rubric that is included in the lesson.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Student Resources

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

Original Student Tutorials

The Pavement Bookworm:

Learn how to use evidence from an informational, nonfiction text to support your analysis of what you have read. In this interactive tutorial you make inferences, or draw conclusions, from a passage about Philani Dladla, "The Pavement Bookworm."

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Exploring Introductions:

Discover how authors of informational texts "hook" their readers in the introduction with techniques like interesting or unusual information, anecdotes, and quotes. Practice spotting these techniques in this interactive tutorial.  

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Robots Come to Life:

Learn how to analyze details from a nonfiction informational text about robots to identify and write about the central idea with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Tutorial

Finding the Main Idea:

This 40-question exercise will give you practice in determining the main (central) idea of a paragraph. For each practice item, you will read a short paragraph and determine the main idea based on the details provided.  If you get a question wrong, the program will remind you of your answer and show you the correct answer.

Type: Tutorial

Parent Resources

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