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Main Idea is one of the most important skills to teach in reading and writing instruction. We all know that there are dozens of different types of graphic organizers that teachers use to teach Main Idea, but I've always preferred the "Table" graphic organizer.
When I teach my students about Main Idea I like to tell them that the Main Idea of a passage, story, book etc., is like the top of a table. The legs of our table are the details that the author has included to support their Main Idea (i.e. the top of the table). I then ask my students to envision a table that only had one leg to support it.
Do you think this table would be very stable? Of course not!
What if it had two legs to help support it? Better, but still wobbly!
What about three legs? Better still, but we can do better!
Four? Now we're getting somewhere!
I help my students understand that the more supporting details an author includes in their writing, the stronger their Main Idea (i.e. the table top) becomes. Once we've gone over this lesson and I've demonstrated it with several examples, it's time to get hands-on with the concept!
Provide this template to your students and have them make a working foldable to show that they understand how to discover the Main Idea and supporting details of a passage. I like to use my school's copy machine to enlarge the document to 11x17 size, but it works just as well with 8.5x11 dimensions.
I hope that you and your students enjoy the foldable template! Please drop by my teacherspayteachers store to check out other items that I have to offer!