4th Grade: Main Idea and Details

Synchronous Learning: Lesson #1

Engage: Ask students to think about an experience they have had outdoors. Sketch the experience and then describe it in two to three sentences.

  • Allow students to share their sketch and description.

Ask: During your experience outdoors you saw, heard, and touched a lot of things. How did you determine what to share about your experience?

  • Authors keep this in mind when they are writing fiction and non-fiction text too. They think about how to leave the readers with what they want them to know or learn the most.

Students will read the passage on erosion at the bottom of this page.

Asynchronous Learning

While exploring outdoors, students will look for signs of erosion that they learned from the text. Students will draw/take pictures and label what they noticed in their journal.

Guiding Questions:

  • What is erosion?
  • How did the text say you could spot erosion?
  • Do you notice erosion in your outdoor space?

Synchronous Learning: Lesson #2

Explain: Students will share the different signs of erosion that they noticed.

Ask students what in the text helped them complete their exploration:

  • The definition of erosion
  • Examples of erosion

Use the information to complete a graphic organizer that highlights the important details. Students should underline important details in the passage.

Students will come up with a main idea for the article about Erosion.

Elaborate: Students will complete a similar graphic organizer about their independent reading book.

Ask students to come up with ways that erosion problems around their outdoor space could be solved, record solutions in their notebook.

Evaluate: Students will read “Habitat at My School” and identify three main details and the main idea.

————  Passage on Erosion ————-

Many of the land features on Earth have been created by erosion, including rivers, canyons, and valleys. Erosion is a process that happens when wind or water wash away soil over time. This process can cause problems for plants that need the soil to survive. Erosion can wash away the
ground causing damage to human made structures like roads and buildings. It can also wash pollutants into rivers, lakes or the ocean which can hurt fish, marine wildlife, and contaminate drinking water.

Signs of erosion can include exposed plant roots as well as sinking or cracking cement and asphalt. You may also notice an area of ground that has been stripped of grass or other plant cover or landscape materials moved where they don’t belong such as mulch that has washed over the sidewalk.

You are more likely to see erosion in areas that are sloped downhill, but erosion can also happen in flat areas too. You will likely see more damage from erosion in places where there is nothing in the way to slow water down when it rains. Surfaces like roads and sidewalks can increase the
threat of erosion while planting trees can reduce the destructive forces that erosion can bring.

Out Teach, formerly REAL School Gardens, provides professional development for elementary school teachers. Out Teach prepares them to use school gardens, outdoor classrooms, and green schoolyards to improve instruction through three-dimensional project-based learning, and outdoor experiential inquiry-based education. Professional learning with Out Teach improves hands-on science and STEM education through instructional coaching and digital education resources and improves 21st Century skills.