A lesson on integrating an Atlas reading
and a writing product
Level: 6-12 (easy adaptations)
Subject Areas: Communication
Arts, Social Studies and Science
The student will
1. Choose and read a designated Atlas segment.
2. Analyze the reading to determine main ideas and supporting ideas.
3. Compose an outline or other graphic organizer for the construction
of a writing product that integrates reading content and imagination.
4. Compose the designated writing product according to the prompt.
5. Utilize Internet, computer and communication skills throughout the
1 2 class periods for the warm up and modeling based on grade level.
2 3 class periods for production of the product if not assigned
- Me Standards
Process: 1.4, 1.5, 2.1, 2.2, 2.4, 2.7
CA 1, 3, 4, 5. SS 4, 5, 6, 7. S 3, 5, 6
1. Print copies of the chosen writing prompt
and the corresponding Atlas reading for modeling exercise.
2. Print copies of the scoring guide (same for all prompts)
3. Print copies of assorted prompts and source Atlas readings based on
grade level, language skill focus, and accessibility to computer lab.
In cases where the teacher selects one type of writing product to be utilized
by everyone (letter to the editor, diary, newspaper article, how to instructions,
story book, or guide book picture captions), have students brainstorm
what they know about this type of writing product utilizing the What I
think I know, What I need to know and What I learned question format as
a class, small groups and/or individuals.
In cases where students will be choosing one of several writing products,
then compare and contrast their purposes and formats through Venn diagrams,
teacher directed questions or the best suited graphic organizer.
Explain to students that they will be producing the designated writing
product(s) based on key information that they gleam from a reading in
the Bryant Watershed Atlas.
Provide students with copies of a prompt and corresponding reading for
Choose one that is fairly easy for your students. Utilizing the appropriate
method for the class, have students determine the who, what, when,
where and why for the prompt as well as identifying the task at hand
by underlining key words.
Instruct students to read the corresponding Atlas reading utilizing any
combination of the following active reading strategies:
Skim, Scan and Scour Method: Have students skim the segment to
familiarize them with the topic and then scan the topic to look for
information that stands out. Have students scour the segment as they
read by identifying main and supporting ideas by underlining, highlighting
or with mini sticky notes. Do this exercise as class, in pairs or independently
as long as students get immediate feedback.
Reading Pals: After skimming and scanning, have students read
paragraphs independently and then explain what they just read to a partner.
The partner then repeats the information as he/she heard it. Together
the pair then identifies the main and supporting ideas.
Provide students with a copy of the scoring guide and explain how
the scoring guide works. Have students insert any number weights and/or
specific descriptions that you wish to include or emphasize.
As a class or in pairs have students construct a framework for
the writing product, which integrates the main ideas, supporting ideas
and their own inferences. Utilize the type of framework that the students
are the most familiar with or one that is best suited for the type of
writing product. The framework could be a standard outline or a graphic
organizer. All the while have students check back to the prompt and scoring
guide to assure that they meeting all specifications.
Write the product as a class to demonstrate how to utilize the framework
as a writing guide. Have each student be responsible for adding sentences.
Have designated students as monitors for the prompt and scoring guide
to assure that the class writing stays on track.
Have the students repeat the four-step process modeled above with a designated
prompt or allow them to select one. In cases of student selection, have
the students utilize the Atlas to skim and scan the selected reading so
they can compare the assignments before choosing one.
Have the students construct a rough draft, make edits, and produce a final
Grade student work utilizing the provided scoring guide with any predetermined
Please submit your best student work to the Bryant Creek Watershed Atlas
to be posted on the website. See Sending Us Your