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Lesson Plan

Skimming and Scanning: Using Riddles to Practice Fact Finding Online

E-mail / Share / Print This Page / Print All Materials (Note: Handouts must be printed separately)

Grades 3 – 5
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time One 45-minute session
Lesson Author

Nancy J. Kolodziej, Ed.D.

Nancy J. Kolodziej, Ed.D.

Cookeville, Tennessee


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology



Teacher Resources




  • Transparencies and overhead projector
  • Computers with Internet access
  • One classroom computer with an LCD projector or large-screen monitor

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1. Assign each student in your class a partner. These pairs should be heterogeneous, although you should consider matching ELL students with classmates who share the same native language so that they may converse in their primary languages when necessary.

2. You will need one computer for each pair of students. If necessary, reserve your school’s computer lab for this lesson. If possible, arrange to use an LCD projector as well.

3. Bookmark America’s Story from America’s Library: Explore the States on the computers students will be using. Explore this site.

4. Print the State Riddles: Answer Key and review it. Print a two-sided copy of the Eliminate the State handout for every two students in your class. Make a transparency of this sheet as well. Make one copy of the State Riddles for every two students in your class. You may also choose to create your own riddles that focus on the state or province where you teach.

5. If you use the riddles provided with this lesson plan, students will need to know the following locations: Atlantic Coast, Pacific Coast, Canada, and the Gulf Coast. They should also be familiar with cardinal directions (north, south, east, and west). You may consider including a brief review of these geographical areas and terms. The National Geographic Xpeditions Atlas: Map of the United States may be useful for this purpose.

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