- Main Idea Mystery Bag recording sheet
*** Download does not include picture cards. You will have to create picture cards or gather objects on your own.
In order to do this activity, you will need:
- A few brown paper bags, zip lock bags, OR envelopes (these are your "mystery bags" or if you are using the envelope - "mystery mail"). In each mystery bag, include four photos, words, or physical objects inside that all relate to each other in some way. These will be the "supporting details".
- The activity requires students to look inside the bag and observe and analyze the items inside. They will need to think about how the "details" relate to each other and then write a main idea sentence for the items.
Mystery bag contains the following items (pictures):
- orange, yellow, and brown leaves
- a rake
- a pumpkin
- a turkey
The students will analyze the picture cards and try to figure out what they all have in common. They will write a main idea sentence based on these supporting details.
Possible Main Idea: There are many things you can use as decorations for the Fall season.
Possible Supporting Detail Sentence: "For example, you can use a turkey, brown orange or yellow colored leaves, a rake, or a pumpkin for Fall decoration.
This is a great and engaging way for students to practice finding main idea as well as have students use their inference skills. In my classroom, I pair my students up. Each pair gets a mystery bag (each bag is numbered). They write down the number of the bag they received and try to find the main idea. After five minutes, the mystery bag rotates and each pair of students receive a new mystery bag.
ENJOY :) - Feel free to edit that document to tailor to your classroom needs.
Here are a few examples of what I used as "details" (Picture Cards from clipart):
- Beyonce, President Obama, JJ Watt, and Martin Luther King (famous people)
- minion, banana, sun, and school bus (things that are yellow)
- bread, cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes (sandwich)
- shoes, clothes, toothbrush with toothpaste, breakfast, and making the bed (getting ready in the morning)
- microscope, test tubes, lab coat, and goggles (science equipment/items)
- place value manipulative, addition and subtraction symbols, numbers, and ruler (math-related items)
-basket, blanket, park, and sun (picnic)