Key Ideas and Details
Appreciation of literature requires the reader to gain an understanding of printed text by identifying the central meaning and facts of the text.
“Key Ideas and Details” emphasizes the importance of understanding the specifics that are explicitly written in a text. Before gaining deeper meanings, such as making logical inferences or drawing conclusions, readers must grasp the central details, characters, events, and ideas from the text.
Young readers, like all young learners, begin to make sense of literature by asking questions about the text. Very often, young readers of literature will relate the text to similar and familiar stories. Mature readers must be able to thoroughly analyze the development of the central details, characters and events.
There are many resources and activities educators and reading instructors can use to help with reading strategies to develop an appreciation for literature. Examples include:
- Graphic organizers
- Talking to the text
- Anticipation guides
- Double entry journals
- Interactive reading and note taking guides
All teachers must teach students the comprehension skills necessary to help them understand text and be successful, independent readers.
With prompting and support, ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
RL.K.2. With prompting and support, retell familiar stories, including key details.
RL.K.3. With prompting and support, identify characters, settings, and major events in a story.
RL.1.1. Ask and answer questions about key details in a text.
RL.1.2. Retell stories, including key details, and demonstrate understanding of their central message or lesson.
RL.1.3. Describe characters, settings, and major events in a story, using key details.
RL.2.1. Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why, and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in a text.
RL.2.2. Recount stories, including fables and folktales from diverse cultures, and determine their central message, lesson, or moral.
RL.2.3. Describe how characters in a story respond to major events and challenges.
RL. 3. 1: Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
RL. 3. 2: Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
RL. 3. 3: Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.
Questions to Focus Instruction
Explicitly teach children how to ask and answer questions, utilizing oral reading and discussion times to practice this skill.
Provide guided practice and feedback for students to locate key information explicitly stated in the text that supports their answers and the larger message of the story.
Use read aloud time to expose children to a variety stories from diverse cultures, including fables, folktales and myths, and to discuss the basic plot features of each type of story.
Discuss descriptive vocabulary the author uses and have students incorporate similar vocabulary into their own retelling of the story. Discussing idioms and other challenging vocabulary ahead of time can keep readers from getting bogged down in superficial or tangential ideas.
In what ways do key ideas and details support the comprehension of a text?
How does the ability to question and locate answers help readers understand and analyze text?
How does understanding plot features of fables, folktales, and myths support comprehension and recounting of these types of text?
What strategies can be used to help students focus on the central message and key details?