Ch 2: Central Ideas in Writing: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.2

About This Chapter

By using the resources in this chapter, you can fulfill Common Core requirements and guide your high school students' writing through studying the concept of central ideas in history and social studies. You'll also find additional methods through which the lessons might be used in the classroom.

Standard: Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.2)

About This Chapter

In order to deal effectively with primary and secondary source materials, high school students will need to practice pinpointing main ideas within informational readings and summarizing those bodies of text. This collection of lessons can help students learn to accomplish the following:

  • Determine central ideas and themes
  • Explain the process of summarizing
  • Tell how transitions demonstrate relationships, sequences and shifts
  • Identify appropriate sentence and paragraph structures
  • Describe methods for incorporating coherence and cohesion in texts

You'll know that your students have a thorough knowledge of this standard when they're able to transfer these principles into their own writing. Mastery of the skills exemplified in the standard and lessons could aid students in their pursuit of college degrees or careers where strong reading and writing proficiencies are required.

How to Use These Lessons in Your Classroom

Following are a few suggestions that you might want to try along with your regular curriculum to help meet the standards for the Common Core.

High Interest Summaries

Share the lesson about summaries. Take a poll of students as to their top interests, such as sports, fashion, music, media, etc. Divide students into small work groups according to their stated interests. Make available articles of unique content pertinent to those interests for students to read aloud, discuss and summarize.

A Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

After sharing the video lesson about transitions, show students a high interest fictional piece with examples of transitions that exemplify relationships, shifts and sequences. Discuss. As homework, ask students to solidify these concepts by making visual representations of those transitions through drawings, brief video productions or some type of graphics.

Building Blocks

Review the lesson on transitions and share the projects students completed in the previous lesson. Building on that review and sharing, switch to a less tangible piece of text that is nonfiction and related to history or social studies, yet still has clear transitions. Allow students to demonstrate their understanding of these transitions by choosing to complete either a written or graphic response.

5 Lessons in Chapter 2: Central Ideas in Writing: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.11-12.2
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
How to Find the Theme or Central Idea

1. How to Find the Theme or Central Idea

In this lesson, you'll learn how to identify the theme or central idea of a text, and you'll get some specific examples of themes from famous stories.

What is a Summary? - Definition & Concept

2. What is a Summary? - Definition & Concept

In this lesson you'll learn what summaries are and how they differ from other forms of condensed writing. You'll also be shown an example of a summary, and what should and should not be included in a summary paragraph.

How Transitions Show Shifts, Sequence & Relationships in Your Writing

3. How Transitions Show Shifts, Sequence & Relationships in Your Writing

When you write just about any kind of paper, whether it's story writing or essay writing, use transitions to help your reader make connections and move easily through your paper. Here are some specific ways to use transitions.

Structuring Paragraphs and Sentences: Tips and Tricks

4. Structuring Paragraphs and Sentences: Tips and Tricks

Once you've developed an outline, it's time to begin drafting your essay. This lesson will walk you through the steps of putting together a body paragraph and show you how to ensure that your paragraphs are unified, coherent and well-developed.

Ensuring Coherence & Cohesion in a Text

5. Ensuring Coherence & Cohesion in a Text

Cohesion in writing is key to ensuring that your work flows properly and can be easily understood by others. There are several steps to make sure your work is cohesive and coherent, which are covered in this lesson.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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