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Collect Snapple Facts—but focus on the important
Discern the important from the interesting
After reading, we want students to list information/details pulled directly from a nonfiction text. But we want them to list the most important information that the author included.
Use the 5-Point, 10-Point, and 20-Point Detail Lists provided below to have students recall the most important details learned from a nonfiction text. Students look for important information and jot specific details on the numbered lines in the same order they are found within the reading without looking back at the passage.
With the limited numbered of points possible to include on the handout, students must select only the most important. They have to choose not to note some details.
Collect the interesting—but keep it separate
Note-taking only the most important facts is difficult for students. It’s a problem that often requires instructional backfill. Take time to model your thinking as you read a text and sift the details.
Students often struggle to distinguish between information that is important and information that is merely interesting. Some bit of information might be very interesting to them and yet not be important to the focus of the reading. When reading, we want students to find the most important points stated by the author in order for them to be able to summarize a text as well as to discern its main idea(s).
However, rather than have students ignore the facts that pique their interest, leave room for the interesting—but keep it separate. While they’re note-taking, have students note intriguing details separate from their note-taking, separate from the important. This helps them to discern the difference between important and interesting. It forces them to be choosey and intentional about where they note the details.
Help students recognize interesting details using Snapple Facts. Underneath each lid is a Real Snapple Fact. Julie Meitzler read several Snapple Facts to her Bluffton-Harrison (Bluffton, IN) fourth graders. Afterwards, Julie and her students determined that Snapple Facts are interesting and unique, offering odd, unusual, extraordinary bits of information. This is her hook before having students start their own content-area research project.
Remind students to look for facts that would engage and interest their readers by providing students a Snapple Facts note-taking page.
Eighth-grade teacher Erica Shadley wanted her Upper Sandusky Middle Schoolers (Upper Sandusky, OH) to conduct a mini-research project using the Snapple Facts concept. Although Shadley didn’t have actual drink caps, she revealed several examples from the Snapple Real Facts website. Once they understood what “interesting research facts” included, students then looked up Civil War Snapple Facts using their Chromebooks and noted them on the provided handout. The following day, Erica transitioned her students from researching print text to analyzing visual text. They learned to research and collect additional Snapple Facts from 3-D images of the Civil War. The addition of 3-D glasses made the activity fun and engaging.