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Special Collection: Top Articles for Teaching Central Ideas & Details

Teacher-approved articles, lesson plans, and activities for exploring central ideas and details in your classroom

Day of Disaster

A 14-year-old boy. A dangerous coal mine. And a horrific accident that would change America forever. 

Learning objective: to identify key ideas from an article about a historical disaster and to write a speech commemorating the anniversary

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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide for teaching this article
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Skills Activity
Students identify central ideas and supporting details
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Guided-Writing Activity
Students organize the ideas and details they will use in their speech
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The Bear Attacks That Changed America

On a summer night in 1967, a tragedy in Glacier National Park would transform the way we care for wild places.

Learning objective: to learn about how the relationship between grizzly bears and humans has changed over time

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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide for teaching this article
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Skills Activity
Students identify central ideas and supporting details
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Guiding-Writing Activity
A chart to help students respond to the writing prompt
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Island of Sorrow

The true story of a 15-year-old boy who kept hope alive in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. 

Learning objective: to explain how the idea that anyone can make a difference is supported in the article

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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide for teaching the article
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Skills Activity
Students identify central ideas and supporting details
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Guided-Writing Activity
Students organize the ideas and details they will use in their essay
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A Business That’s Sweet in All Kinds of Ways

In this interview, Michael Platt explains how he turned his love of baking into Michaels Desserts, a business that lifts up people in need.

Learning objective: to turn a Q&A into a three paragraph article

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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide for using the interview.
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Guided-Writing Activity
Students turn the interview into an article.
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Annotated Model Text
If your students need additional support, project this model.
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Why You Should Sing

We did the research about why you should sing; your students write the essay.

Learning objective: to draw on information presented in an infographic to write an essay, create a slideshow, or make a video

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Lesson Plan
A step-by-step guide for using the infographic
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Guided Writing Activity
A graphic organizer to help students write and support a claim
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Annotated Model Text
If your students need additional support, project this model.
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Day of Disaster: from American Experience, “The Mine Wars,” copyright 1996–2019 WGBH Educational Foundation; The Bear Attacks That Changed America: Scott E Read/Shutterstock.com; Island of Sorrow: Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo for The Washington Post via Getty Images; A Business That’s Sweet in All Kinds of Ways: Eric Kayne/AP Images for Scholastic Inc; Why You Should Sing: Photodisc/Superstock