Identifying the Topic and Main Idea

Alyssa Teaches
Grade Levels
3rd - 5th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
14 pages
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Alyssa Teaches


Do your students always correctly identify the topic and main idea of an informational text? I find that some students can identify the topic of a nonfiction text (“ice cream”), but may have trouble identifying the main idea ABOUT the topic that the author wants them to know. They might repeat or generalize the topic (“stuff about ice cream”), rather than expressing a full idea about it (“you can eat lots of toppings with your ice cream”).

These differentiated, scaffolded worksheets are a helpful way for students to practice finding the topic versus the main idea. The fun ice cream theme allows students to closely examine the paragraphs to determine how their main ideas are different.

You can use these worksheets during your nonfiction unit and throughout the year!

What's Included:

  • posters/word wall cards (2 versions)
  • handout/anchor chart (great for reading notebooks)
  • coloring worksheet
  • cut & glue sorting worksheet
  • "homework fix" worksheet
  • differentiated passages (students identify the topic and main idea)
  • differentiated exit tickets (use for review or assessment)
  • writing extension
  • answer keys with sample answers

Thanks for visiting my store!

Do your students need more practice with engaging nonfiction texts? Check out my nonfiction reading passages!

CLICK HERE to see more nonfiction reading resources!

Total Pages
14 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.


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