877-542-5504 877-542-5504

Want to Help Fellow Teachers?

Please help us grow this free resource by submitting your favorite lesson plans.

Lesson Plan #: AELP-EAR0200
Source: School Library Media Activities Monthly (October 1994, p. 28)

Grade Levels: 2, 3, 4


  • Science/Earth Science
  • Information Literacy

Library Media Skills Objectives:
The student will prepare a simple outline web to show the relationship between ideas.
The student will identify main and subordinate ideas.

Curriculum (subject area) Objectives:
This simple activity may be easily incorporated into a science unit on water. Resources:


  • Baines, John. Water . Thomson Learning, 1993.
  • Devonshire, Hilary. Water . Watts, 1992.
  • Dorros, Arthur. Follow the Water from Brook to Ocean . HarperCollins, 1991.
  • Hoff, Mary King. Our Endangered Planet: Rivers and Lakes . Lerner, 1991.
  • Peacock, Graham. Water . Thomson Learning, 1994.
  • Seixas, Judith. Water: What It Is, What It Does . Green-willow, 1987.
  • Taylor, Barbara. Water at Work . Watts, 1991.
  • Walpole, Brenda. Water . Garrett, 1990.

Encyclopedia articles
Set of slides on the topic, such as: Water . National Geographic Society, 1994. 40 captioned slides. Instructional Roles:

This activity may be completed by the library media specialist or teacher in one session.

Activity and Procedures for Completion:

The library media specialist may explain that since the students have been studying the subject of water, they may be able to arrange some slides that depict water. (The slides in the National Geographic Society set, Water, are numbered, but there is no script. Any similar set of slides may be substituted or you may make an original slide set.) How can we make sense of a set of slides?

Before showing students the slides, the library media specialist may ask them to think about the facts they know about water. It is helpful if students think about categories of information (e.g., the composition of water, the forms of water, the uses of water, etc.) before they begin to look at the slides.

The library media specialist may divide the students into small groups of four or five students each. Each group may look at all the slides. The group must pick out several slides that depict a common or main idea. Students must use their knowledge of water to take four, five, or six slides and arrange them around a central idea. The library media specialist may give the students a worksheet with pictures of six circles that can be cut out. The students may cut out the circles, place one slide on each circle, write the topic for that slide on the circle, and arrange the slide/circles around the central topic circle. The slide/circles may be connected to the main idea circle with yarn or string.

For example, one group might identify the main idea the uses of water and write that idea on one of the circles. The slides may be examined and all those related to the use of water might be described on the other circles. The circles m ay then be arranged in a web, as illustrated above.

If student groups have trouble identifying a main idea, the library media specialist may suggest that they look at books about water. They might skim these materials to see how they categorize the subject. They may check the tables of contents, etc .

Once the students have selected main ideas (and written them on cutout circles), they may group the slides (i.e., the descriptions of the slides written on other cutout circles) around the main ideas. Once the slides have been categorized and grou ped in this way, student groups may write paragraphs based on the categorized information. Which slides/main ideas should be mentioned first, second, etc.? The paragraphs should be written and the slides placed in corresponding order in a slide tray. Each group may share its selected slides as the paragraph is read.

The student will organize slides to illustrate main and subordinate ideas.

The student may:

  • use this technique to write a lengthier description of water.
  • take additional photographs to illustrate ideas that aren’t represented in the existing slide set.
  • use this technique with other subjects.

These integrated lesson plans and suggestions for teaching library and information skills in connection with various classroom subject areas are provided by LMS Associates and were originally published in School Library Media Activities Monthly. Lessons may be used for the non-commercial purpose of education. All materials are held in copyright by LMS Associates for the magazine, School Library Media Activities Monthly. For more information, contact, LMS Associates; 17 E. Henrietta Street; Baltimore, MD 21230 410-685-8621.