Grade 6: The Bears of Yellowstone National Park


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You will need to sign in (free). Scroll down to the third section: Close Reading Lesson Library. Scroll down, and click on Grade 6 Close Reading Modules.


Reading for Information

RI.6.1 Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

RI.6.2 Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

RI.6.3 Analyze in detail how a key individual, event, or idea is introduced, illustrated, and elaborated in a text (e.g., through examples or anecdotes).

RI.6.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings.

RI.6.5 Analyze how a particular sentence, paragraph, chapter, or section fits into the overall structure of a text and contributes to the development of the ideas.

RI.6.7 Integrate information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words to develop a coherent understanding of a topic or issue.

RI.6.8 Trace and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, distinguishing claims that are supported by reasons and evidence from claims that are not.


This Grade 6 lesson titled “The Bears of Yellowstone National Park” by Margaret Taylor for is intended to be completed in 5 sessions of ELA/Literacy instruction. The individual close reading lesson videos focus on: the organization of an informational text, comparing and contrasting the structural organization of the passage, how the author crafts the theme of the passage, and a central idea. Lessons use one article for different purposes; text-dependent questions prepare students to think about organization, as well as the central ideas of the text. The summative assessment asks students to independently apply their knowledge of reading an informational text by pulling evidence from multiple parts of the text that support the central idea of the passage in a written piece that is free from their own bias.


Connecticut teachers should be aware that the website, as well as the teacher notes and preparation materials, will require familiarity to be used effectively.  Writing is used in both note-taking and in the summative assessment, but there are no writing standards listed, nor any instruction given for these tasks.  While there is no aligned rubric for the assessment, there are response guidelines at the end of the Day 5 Video teacher notes that provide sufficient guidance for interpreting the degree to which a student can independently demonstrate the targeted grade-level CCSS standards.


This lesson set is an exemplary example of how to focus on challenging sections of a complex text. It engages students in a productive struggle through text-dependent questions and other supports that build toward independence. It addresses instructional expectations and is easy to understand and use. The lesson set includes the full text, a read-aloud video, a close reading overview video for teachers, as well as a text complexity and vocabulary analysis explanation sheet. Each day’s lesson includes: pacing, instructional tips for teachers, and suggestions for differentiation within the video. An intervention activity is included at the end of each day’s for students who struggle to answer the focus question.