Main Idea Activities with Google Slides™ and Google Forms™ for Distance Learning

Jennifer Findley
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Google Apps™
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Jennifer Findley
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  1. Do you teach 4th or 5th grade reading? This reading resource will be a lifesaver! It includes everything you need to supplement your reading instruction for the included reading skills (see below for the skills included).I am currently working on updates and new resources to add to this bundle. As a
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Need rigorous and intentional resources for teaching main idea? This main idea resource includes supplemental resources and activities to teach main idea of paragraphs and main idea of passages (versus only single, isolated paragraphs).

NOTE: This resource now has Google Slides™ versions and a Google Form™ version, making it ideal for digital distance learning and remote teaching! Please see the 3rd page of the PDF for details and the links.

Want more reading activities and resources for 4th and 5th grade? --->

Click here to check out my Reading Units Bundle for 4th and 5th Grade that includes this resource and SEVEN other resources.

About the Main Idea Activities and Resources Included:

❖ Main Idea Posters (in color and black and white) **Also in Google Slides**

❖ Essential Questions **Also in Google Slides**

❖ Rubrics and Checklists for Assessment and Self-Assessment **Also in Google Slides**

❖ Main idea Graphic Organizers and Interactive Notebook Templates **Also in Google Slides**

❖ FIVE sets of Main Idea Passages - 31 main idea passages at varying lengths and for different purposes - see more about the main idea passages below **Also in Google Slides**

❖ Main Idea Sorts - Two sets of main idea sorts; one easier and more challenging

❖ TWO sets of 20 Main Idea Task Cards - One set is an easier introductory level and the other is more rigorous and asks more main idea questions (such as topic sentence and finding supporting details). ***Set 1 Is Available in Self-Grading Google Forms and Slides and Set 2 Is Available ONLY in Google Slides**

About the Main Idea Passages

There are five sets of passages in this resource. All of these passages are available in the printable version and in the Google Slides version for digital reading activities.

Set 1: Topic Sentence Practice - This set includes three single- paragraph texts and three multi-paragraph texts that focus on finding the topic sentence of a text to determine the main idea.

Set 2: Implied Main Idea Practice - This set includes four single-paragraph texts and three multi-paragraph texts that focus on finding the main idea when it is implied through text details and not directly stated.

Set 3: More Main Idea Practice – Single Paragraphs - This set includes five single-paragraph texts each with one central main idea. These are perfect for practicing main idea prior to moving to multi-paragraph passages.

Set 2: More Main Idea Practice – Multi-Paragraph Texts - This set includes four multi-paragraph passages for the students to practice determining the main idea of paragraphs that make up a larger passage. The passages in this set also come with a supporting details practice printable to further help distinguish between the individual main ideas that make up the entire passage.

Set 5: Specific Strategy Practice - This set includes the three main strategies I teach my students to identify the main idea when it is implied. Each strategy also includes three texts specifically written for that strategy.

About the Digital Main Idea Activities

The following main idea activities are included in digital format as well as printable (Google Slides unless noted)

  • Main Idea Posters
  • Single Main Idea Graphic Organizers
  • Multiple Main Idea Graphic Organizers
  • Essential Questions
  • Rubric and Checklist
  • Passages – Set 1 – Topic Sentence Practice
  • Passages – Set 2 – Implied Main Idea Practice
  • Passages – Set 3 – Paragraph Practice
  • Passages – Set 4 – Multi-Paragraph Practice
  • Passages – Set 5 – Specific Strategy Practice
  • Main Idea Sorts Set 1 - 4 Sorts - Sorting four sentences into a main idea graphic organizer
  • Main Idea Sorts Set 2 - 4 Sorts - Sorting six sentences into two main idea graphic organizers to match given main ideas
  • Task Cards Set 1 (Easier Set) – Version 1 – Full Page Text and Separate Recording Sheet
  • Task Cards Set 1 (Easier Set) – Version 2 – Multiple Choice with Separate Recording Sheet
  • Task Cards Set 1 (Easier Set) – Version 3 – Type Answer in Slide
  • Task Cards Set 1 (Easier Set) – Version 4 – Self-Grading with Google Forms
  • Task Cards (More Difficult Version) Set 2

Need more resources for main idea?

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Teaching Theme Differentiated Resources

Point of View Unit

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Informational Text Structures Resources

Integrating Information from Multiple Texts Unit

Reasons and Evidence Resources

Analyzing Multiple Accounts Lesson Plan Resource

Analyzing Multiple Accounts Lesson Plan Assessment

Total Pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 month
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.
Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.


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