American Dreams Pre-Draft: Extracting Key Information from a Text

Lesson Plan on Extracting Key Information from a Text
(See alongside “Teaching Annotation Skills to Enhance Reading Comprehension” article on Qwriting website [American Dreams, pre-draft activities])

Lesson objective: Introduce effective close reading of material so that students will be able to extract key historical events that are mentioned at various points (not chronologically) within texts on American Dreams and organize them into a time line in order to discover the historical progression and develop awareness of these events.

Total estimated time: 60 minutes

Additional outcomes: Students will develop critical reading and organizational skills along with heightened awareness of historical events.

Course work that’s under way: Students will have read some introductory texts on American Dreams, including David Kamp’s essay “Rethinking the American Dream” and Cal Jillson’s “The American Dream and its Role in American History.” In addition to determining the thesis for each essay, students will be able to identify key historical events in the context of each essay and construct a time line as well as a summary of each text. The time line will, in turn, provide a framework that will help students to connect these events to subsequent material that they read.

Sequence of classroom activities:

Students will be assigned to work in groups (40 minutes). Each group will determine a leader to report back to the class. Within each group, students will work with the text of each essay to identify historical events in the context of American Dreams and develop a time line. During the report back, I will construct a “master time line” on the board for each essay, based on the information given from each group leader (20 minutes).

Download: AmericanDreams_Predraft3_CritReading (doc)

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