Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Digging Through Miss Bongers' Purse - A Lesson on Determining Importance!

Today we continued discussing determining importance. My lesson idea originally came from bloggy friend Amanda Nickerson who told me she got the idea from Comprehension Connections by Tanny McGregor. Amazing women with amazing ideas!

Anyway, I borrowed a purse from one of the dress-up areas from our kindergarten room and stuffed it with 6 items from my own purse (because let's be honest, there about a million things in my REAL purse). My context: I was going to the gym after work. In our lesson, we pulled each of the 6 items out of my purse and evaluated whether the item was very important, kind of important, or not important at all to have at the gym.
We decided my keys were very important. My keys would help me get to the gym, and they have the little 'thingy' that I have to swipe at the door to get into the gym. We determined the lotion was kind of important because I may want to smell a little fresher after my workout. We determined the pen and chip clip were not important at all for obvious reasons, and we included the rubberband in the 'not important at all' column because today my hair was already pulled back away from my face, so I wouldn't need the rubberband. We discussed how yesterday, when I wore my hair down, the rubberband would have been very important! It was a perfect way to demonstrate that depending on the task, context, or assignment, different information we read can be more or less important for different reasons.

For guided practice, I made a chart (it's a free download at my TpT store) for students' Thoughtful Logs that required them to categorize six items and their importance for a camping trip (in a tent with no electricity). The items were: a deck of cards, a sleeping bag, lipstick, an umbrella, a TV remote, and a flashlight. After they categorized each item's importance, students had to explain their thinking in writing.
This writing activity actually pushed into students' voice in writing, too! My favorite was when they explained their thoughts about bringing lipstick on a camping trip. In the words of this student, "Who in their right mind would get all dolled up for a camping trip - seriously!" :)
Tomorrow students will compare and contrast their decisions through discussion and write about their findings! This activity lays the framework for lessons we will do after spring break using real texts involving determining importance.


  1. thx for posting my responses Miss Bongers my dad thought it was funny:) ! PS that was fun digging through ur `purse`.

    From Ana

    1. You know it, girl! We had fun today in reading. :) Thanks for writing with such great voice!

    2. your welcome Miss Bongers,LOL!

  2. I am going to do the same lesson soon... this is quite an interesting, fun lesson. Also, it is important to discuss evaluating before state testing. :) - Victoria