Beacon Lesson Plan Library

In Search of Food . . . Living Off the Vegetation

Summer Zephyr
Bay District Schools


Students locate information from a variety of sources, to describe what Indians gathered and how they sustained life. Using five sources students select a paragraph from each and state the main idea and supporting details.


The student determines the main idea and identifies relevant details, methods of development, and their effectiveness in a variety of types of written material.


- Internet Web Searches such as Yahoo, Web Crawler, Go To, to search Florida Indians, Cherokee Indians, Seminole Indians, Houma Indians, or Southeastern Indians.
-Computers with Internet access.
-Media Center Resources.


1. Check library for resource books to pull from shelves and bring to class, or use in the library.
2. Ask librarian to have computers available to search Internet and use the computer’s encyclopedia. Probably better to Bookmark sites on the Internet for students to quickly go on and use.
3. Teacher makes graphic organizer to use as an example for students to follow. Mind maps are easy to use. See example of mind map in associated file.


1. Introduction: Read story, “Sun’s Gift to the Indians”. (Myth) See attachment.

2 Discuss with students that the Indians gathered most of the fresh fruits, vegetables, and grains as their main source of food we buy today in the grocery store. Have students discuss the fresh vegetables , fruits, and grains they eat, and how they are grown.

3.During whole group activity teacher gives instruction about how to find the main idea and shows how to do a mind map to record the details.

As students read the articles from the various sources, they select one paragraph from each source telling about the kinds of food Indians ate and how they gathered it. They also find the main idea in each paragraph and give the supporting details. (Teachers can tell by the way the student constructs his assignment as to whether or not the details are related to the topic sentence even though the teacher has not read the paragraph.)

4. Students go to library and search books, pamphlets, encyclopedias, and the Internet for articles relating to how Indians found their food and the kinds of food they found. Students use graphic organizer such as mind mapping technique to organize main idea and supporting details. Students read at least a total of five paragraphs from various sources and then mind map each paragraph.

The teacher monitors progress by using a formative assessment of their work. The teacher reteaches if necessary. After the fifth paragraph the teacher collects the work for grading.

5). At end of practice session students collectively discuss the results of their reading (10 minutes before the end of class).

Note to teacher:
The main idea or the focus of the paragraph is the most important point the author is trying to make. Most of the information in the passage will lead you to that one important idea. The main idea can be worded in many ways. Main ideas may not be stated directly. Many students think there are rules for authors that require them to state the theme or sum up. There are no such rules. Sometimes the main idea will be stated in a single sentence within the passage. Other times, it will only be implied. You will have to figure it out for yourself. It is important to watch for details that support the main idea. See attachment for worksheet.


Use mind map showing main idea and supporting details. All five paragraphs need to be complete to receive class work grade. The paragraphs would be formatively assessed. Then on the fifth paragraph student receives the weighting of a test grade; it could equal to two grades.
Criteria would include the selection of the correct main idea and relevant supporting details, neat and readable work, and all work completed.

Web Links

Web supplement for In Search of Food.....Living Off the Vegetation
Seminole Food

Web supplement for In Search of Food.....Living Off the Vegetation
Culture-Who We Are

Web supplement for In Search of Food.....Living Off the Vegetation
Seminole Indians

Web supplement for In Search of Food.....Living Off the Vegetation
Florida Facts and History

Web supplement for In Search of Food.....Living Off the Vegetation

Attached Files

Shows Assessment Rubric and "Sun" story     File Extension: pdf

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