The Problem of Plastics (Grades 3–6)

Engage students with the interactive text “The Problem of Plastics,” using a Did You Notice? strategy to complete a Says, Means, Matters activity.

Grades 3-6 90-120 min Resource by:

AVID and National Geographic are partnering for the 2022–2023 school year to develop critical reading lessons. This partnership will allow AVID to provide highly engaging and rigorous content through disciplinary literacy—an emphasis on the shared ways of reading, writing, speaking, and thinking within a particular content area or academic field. Explore this sample lesson and contact AVID Care at (833) 284-3227 for more information about AVID Weekly® and AVID Elementary Weekly.

In this critical reading lesson, students will examine the interactive text “The Problem of Plastics”—which focuses on college and career readiness, science, and social studies—using a Did You Notice? strategy to engage in a Says, Means, Matters. This lesson uses the WICOR® (Writing, Inquiry, Collaboration, Organization, Reading) methodology and strategies from AVID’s curriculum library and is designed for a variety of learning environments.

Learning Objectives

  • Students will examine the structure of the text in order to prepare for close reading.
  • Students will annotate the text when reading and collaboratively share their noticings.
  • Students will analyze the author’s craft and moves within the text.

What You’ll Need



Establish a purpose for reading, build background knowledge, and set students up for success.

Plan for reading by thinking through, or having students respond to, the following questions and identify how the chosen text fits within the broader context of your instructional unit so that they are making connections to their prior knowledge:

  • What previously taught content and/or prior knowledge is connected to the new text?
  • What technology skills and knowledge will students need to access the text and complete the academic task?

This text meets the following features of an ideal text:

  • This text builds reading stamina and provides the opportunity for students to reach higher and/or deeper.
  • Engagement with this text fosters inquiry and curiosity.

Allow students an opportunity to set up their notes and record the Essential Question before engaging in the learning. Students will be using an Analyzing Text Structure strategy in this lesson.



Build vocabulary and engage in purposeful rereads. Vocabulary development can happen at any point in the reading process.

Students will build vocabulary using Learning Logs: Showing Vocabulary, looking at both academic and content-area words. They will process information in a first and second read of the text and engage in a purposeful reread using a Did You Notice? strategy.


Reading tasks should be directly connected to what students will do with the text after they have read and understand it.

Students will use the text to develop the Analyze academic thinking skill. They will extend beyond the text by creating a Says, Means, Matters.

*Explore the sample lesson and contact AVID Care by phone at (833) 284-3227 or by email at [email protected] for more information about AVID Weekly® and AVID Elementary Weekly.