Skip Navigation

Generating An Interesting, Condensed Topic

Main Core Tie

Secondary Library Media (6-12)
Strand 2: Standard 2:

Additional Core Ties

English Language Arts Grade 9-10
Writing Standard 1

Time Frame

1 class periods of 70 minutes each

Life Skills

  • Thinking & Reasoning
  • Communication


Mariah Gerlach
Catherine Jensen
Shay Woodruff-Walton


The purpose of this lesson is to introduce the idea of choosing an informational topic. Students will learn through discussion and practice how to condense, or "narrow down," a topic. By the end of the class, each student will choose a topic of their own, which will then become the focus of their project.


  • Internet access
  • projector
  • computer
  • library books
  • National Geographic magazines

Student Prior Knowledge

Previous writing skills, personal schemata

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to generate a list of interesting topics they may choose to write on. By the end of the lesson, they will narrow down several of these topics into subcategories and then choose one of which to write their project.

Instructional Procedures

5-10 min. (Whole Group)

Introduce writing unit and schedule.

Introduce daily objective

Watch Youtube videos about random facts

5-10 min. (Small Group and Individual)

(Pass around Ripley's Believe It or Not and Guinness World Records books).

Discussion: What makes a topic interesting to individuals and to a wide audience? Components of an interesting topic.

Brainstorm general topics (at least 10)

Switch lists with friend

Make subcategories of partner's topics

20-30 min. (Whole Group)

Go through National Geographic articles (chosen ahead of time)

Discussion: How do I condense or narrow down a topic?

5-10 min. (Individual)

Pass list to new partner -- cross out all but five topics (keep the most interesting).

Pass back to owner.

5-10 min. (Individual)

Get your list back from partner.

Of the narrowed down topics, choose the two you like the most. And describe why you chose them. Why are they interesting and engaging topics? Will you be able to find enough information to research these topics?

10-15 min (Whole Group)

Each person will read his or her two condensed topics to the class and the class will vote on which one would be the most interesting to research and most possible to find information for.

Each student will turn in his or her topic as an exit ticket (worth 5pts.).

Strategies for Diverse Learners

Provide more or less topic totals depending on needs of students. Provide more complex or less difficult lists of topics for students based on the various materials provided.


Utilize chosen topics to create research projects for multimedia presentations.

Assessment Plan

Each student will turn in their finalized topic for their article as an exit ticket, with a description of it's level of interest and possibility for resources in research.


Youtube videos (search "Random Facts") Ripley's Believe It Or Not Books Guinness Book of World Records National Geographic Magazine

Created: 09/08/2016
Updated: 02/05/2018