Magnet words is a great strategy to use if your content for the lesson focuses on one "big" word or concept. This strategy helps strengthen reading skills like summarizing, and main idea, AND help your students learn the term you want them to know.
1. Give students an index card.
2. Have them write the "magnet" term in the middle of one side. I like to have them put a box around the word.
3. As students read the text, have them write down key words or phrases, in the space around the magnet word, that define, describe, or help students understand something important about that word.
4. Finally, have them use the magnet words and phrases to help them write a definition on the other side of their index cards.
You will need to model how to do this first and then let students try. I would even have them verbalize their definition to a partner and then write it. You can have your students do this with individually, with a partner, or a group.
This is just another great tool for teaching kids how to summarize and pick out supporting details for main idea. As a teacher, you know the importance and impact that these two skills have on student achievement and the more ways you can teach kids how to do them, the better!