Listen, Look, and Learn: An Information-Gathering Process

The ReadWriteThink website provides educators, parents, and afterschool professionals with access to the highest quality practices in reading and language arts instruction by offering the very best in free materials. Learning to extract information from varied sources is essential to the learning process. This lesson models an information-gathering process for primary learners; however, it can be easily modified to address third grade level expectations. Students begin by reading and discussing Helen Lesteru2019s story Score One for the Sloths. Next, students are introduced to an information wheelu2014a circle divided into 3 large pieces, each labeled with a different question about the sloth. Questions include: where does it live? what does it look like? and what does it do ? Then various resources are shared with students as they decide where on the wheel each fact or statement about the sloth should be recorded. Guiding the listening, looking, and learning process helps students gain confidence and develop strategies for gathering information independently.

Standards & Objectives

Learning objectives: 

Students will:

  • comprehend the nature and the intent of the questions on the information wheel.
  • listen to and look for information that helps to answer each of the questions.
  • determine what fact fragments or notes will be recorded under each question on the information wheel.
  • discuss how the information is similar and different in each of the resources.
  • begin to develop the inital skills of selecting and sorting information leading to increasingly independent application of information-gathering skills.

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Extension suggestions: 
  • The topic could be varied using a bird, fish, reptile, insect, another mammal, amphibian, a plant, a natural event, an invention, or a machine. You'll need to modify the Information Wheel slightly for some of these options, as shown below.
  • Interest in the topic might evolve from a story, a curriculum unit of study, or a class or personal experience. Subsequent Listen, Look and Learn experiences might be in small groups facilitated by an adult, culminating in a group written mini-report.

Helpful Hints

Materials and Technology:

  • Score One For The Sloths by Helen Lester (Houghton Mifflin, 2001)
  • Animal Specialists by Nathan Aaseng (Lerner Publications, 1987)
  • "Sloth" in World Book Student Discovery Encyclopedia, Vol. 10, p. 121 (World Book, Inc., 2000)