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Lesson Plan

Listen, Look, and Learn: An Information-Gathering Process

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Listen, Look, and Learn: An Information-Gathering Process

Grades K – 2
Lesson Plan Type Minilesson
Estimated Time 30 minutes
Lesson Author

Janie Schomberg

Janie Schomberg

Urbana, Illinois


National Council of Teachers of English


Student Objectives

Instruction & Activities


Student Assessment/Reflections



Students will

  • comprehend the nature and the intent of the questions on the information wheel.

  • listen to and look for information that helps to answer each of the questions.

  • determine what fact fragments or notes will be recorded under each question on the information wheel.

  • discuss how the information is similar and different in each of the resources.

  • begin to develop the inital skills of selecting and sorting information leading to increasingly independent application of information-gathering skills.

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Instruction & Activities

  1. Read and discuss Score One for the Sloths.

  2. Discuss how can we learn about the real sloth.

  3. Introduce the Information Wheel concept if students are unfamiliar with it, encouraging the students to see themselves as information detectives at work.

  4. Read or show each of the information sources listed in the Resources, asking students to raise their hands when they have seen or heard something that should be recorded on the Information Wheel. Each time a hand is raised, stop the reading or showing, and allow the student to share the information and to indicate what and where the note will be recorded on the Information Wheel.

  5. When the first item is shared, model the way to turn the sentence (or paragraph) into a fact fragment or noteŚcutting the information into a fact phrase (See example below). Emphasize how taking notes in this way will help them to create reports in their own words later, thus reducing the chance of plagiarism.

    Excerpt from Enchanted Learning Website:
    "The sloth is a slow-moving mammal that lives in trees. Sloths spend most of their lives hanging upside-down from tree branches."

    Related Fact Phrases:
    • slow-moving

    • mammal

    • lives in trees

    • hangs upside-down
  6. Students continue to identify fact fragments to add to the Information Wheel, indicating the question which the information should be recorded under.

  7. Complete the lesson by discussing how the process worked, noting that the next step would be to work together to write a class report on the sloth.

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The topic could be varied using a bird, fish, reptile, insect, another mammal, amphibian, a plant, a natural event, an invention, or a machine. You'll need to modify the Information Wheel slightly for some of these options, as shown below.

Interest in the topic might evolve from a story, a curriculum unit of study, or a class or personal experience. Subsequent Listen, Look and Learn experiences might be in small groups facilitated by an adult, culminating in a group written mini-report.

Questions for Natural Event
  • Where does it happen?

  • What does it look like?

  • How does it work?
Questions for Machine or Invention
  • What does it look like?

  • What does it do?

  • How does it work?

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  • Observation of student interest during the lesson.

  • Observation of contributions of students throughout the notetaking phase.

  • Anecdotal notes about student participation and understanding shared with the classroom teacher if the lesson is taught outside of the classroom.


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