Reviewing and Explaining Ideas


Reviewing and Explaining Ideas introduces students to the concept of participating in a discussion with a small group of people. The lesson describes the importance of being respectful of others’ opinions and sharing their own as well. Throughout the lesson, students will get to practice listening to others as they talk about a specific topic and then add their own thoughts and comments that relate to the same topic.

There are quite a few suggestions in the “Options for Lesson” section that you may want to use in your lesson. You can assign topics for students’ discussion allow them to choose their own. Another alternative is to show a video of a discussion, such as a council meeting, and have students evaluate the discussion.

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What our Reviewing and Explaining Ideas lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Reviewing and Explaining Ideas helps students analyze information and key ideas. Students will also develop the skill to present their own ideas about a topic. This lesson focuses on small-group situations. Students will learn the difference between summarizing and understanding content.

There are three pages of content in the lesson plan. The lesson defines what a discussion is. Understanding this concept will give students a sense for when and how to share their ideas and thoughts with others. The lesson outlines what people expect from a discussion and how that discussion focuses on a specific topic or topics.

The lesson relays the concept of reviewing and its importance to understanding information. It presents a short conversation between two people and then gives an example of what a summary of the discussion might be. Then it expounds on what explaining means as it relates to conversations. Students learn that their own ideas are just as important as those of others in a group.


You will divide students into groups for the activity. Each group will discuss three topics. There are four questions for students to answer in which they will rate themselves on a scale of 1 to 5. The questions gauge how well students listened to others, explained their ideas, and followed the “rules” of discussion. Hopefully, students will get better and better in these areas as they progress through the topics.


For the practice portion of the lesson, students will first review two sets of key ideas. Next, they will write a summary in their own words about what they read. Finally, they will add and explain their ideas and comments about the same topic.


The homework assignment splits into two sections. The first section presents 10 statements. Students must mark each statement as true (T) or false (F). For the second section, students will discuss a topic with members of their family or with friends. They need to talk with each other for 15 to 20 minutes about the topic they choose. Next, they will answer two basic questions on what the topic was and who participated in the discussion. Then they must summarize three to five main ideas. Finally, they will write down and explain their own ideas about the topic.

Additional information


4th Grade


Language Arts

State Educational Standards


Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.