Teaching Idea Development in Middle School


Find out how I teach my middle school students to trace the development of ideas in a nonfiction text.

Previously, I shared how I teach character development based on R.CCR.3:  Analyze how and why individuals, events, and ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.

After I teach the fiction portion of that standard, the I teach the non-fiction portion:  idea development.

I'll start with reading an article called "High Court Reviews Insanity-Defense Case" from CommonLit.  I chose this article because it connects to "Lamb to the Slaughter" which we read for the fiction portion of this standard.

After we read the article, we'll complete new Pixanotes (interactive guided notes) based on how ideas develop using this article.  There are 3 steps we'll learn to analyze text to determine how and why ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.

Idea Development can be tricky for some middle school students but Pixanotes make the job easier with a combination of structure and visuals!  #teaching #ideas

Then we'll practice with the information using task cards with specific questions about the developing ideas in the article.  I think this time, I might play ZAP with the task cards to change things up a bit.

Now that we have practiced, it will be time for a quiz with a new nonfiction text.

After the quiz, students who score 80% or better will receive a nonfiction enrichment menu and have the option to create a poster or a paragraph response to the text presented in the quiz.

Students who scored less than 80% will receive an enhancement menu for reteaching.  They will have the option to watch the review video and create their own new quiz or to to use their notes to explain each question on the quiz.

After a quiz on idea development, my middle school students each get a menu to either have opportunities for reteaching or enrichment.

Finally, to wrap up the entire unit...

I'll take some time and have students present some of their enhancement or enrichment products from both the fiction and nonfiction portions of the standard.  That will serve as a review for the final unit assessment.  

This entire unit will likely take about a month, but we will have covered both character and idea development with plenty of differentiation and opportunities for students to experience project based learning.

If this sounds like a lot of work, you'd be right - except that it was only a lot of work for me since all the work is done and you can get all of these things by clicking here!

I also have DIGITAL materials available for idea development.

Or if you'd like both the character AND idea development units, then please click here!

Thanks for stopping by!

1 comment

Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope to hear from you and will reply via e-mail. :)