Main Idea Task Cards Print and Digital for 3rd - 5th Grades

Grade Levels
3rd - 5th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
  • Google Apps™
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The Teacher-Author indicated this resource includes assets from Google Workspace (e.g. docs, slides, etc.).

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  1. These 14 sets of reading task cards (448 task cards!) in both print and digital (for Google Classroom™ and other educational platforms) will help your students practice a variety of important reading strategies including Cause and Effect (2 sets), Character Traits, Inferences Using Literature (2 set
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If your students need practice identifying the main idea, this set of 32 print and digital task cards are a great way to reinforce this important reading concept using a short amount of text. Each task card has a high interest, short informational text passage that asks students to identify the main idea. Topics include how potato chips were invented, the Mt. St. Helen's Volcano, narwhals, and more! You can use them for reading centers, reading partners, whole class games, exit slips, and more!

This set includes: Print and Digital Versions

32 Main Idea Task Cards

Record Sheet

Answer Key

Teacher Notes

Teacher Notes with LINKS

***PLEASE NOTE: This task card set is also included in my Main Idea, Supporting Details and Summary Units:

Main Ideas, Supporting Details and Summary for Third Grade

Main Ideas, Supporting Details and Summary for 4th and 5th Grades

Why you'll love this resource:

  • The task cards give your students concentrated practice with the main idea, so students get multiple opportunities to identify the main idea in one time frame.
  • The digital version is self-grading in Google Forms and has editable questions and answers too!
  • These make a perfect activity for centers, whole-class, one on one, or for distance learning.
  • Task cards seem less overwhelming than longer passages for many students.
  • The task cards have a variety of engaging passages your students will enjoy!
  • Students view task cards as more of a game, which makes them fun!
  • It's easy to turn the cards into an actual game or center by adding a tic-tac-toe on a whiteboard or by adding a board game like Sorry, Jenga, Chutes and Ladders and more!

Looking for more Main Idea passages, task cards, and games? This Main Idea Kit is differentiated for 3rd - 5th!

Main Ideas, Supporting Details and Summary for 4th and 5th Grades

Looking for completely digital Main Idea units for Google Classroom? These have original content and are interactive with moveable pieces:

3rd Grade Digital Reading Unit: Main Idea for Google Slides™

4th Grade Digital Reading Unit: Main Idea for Google Slides™

5th Grade Digital Reading Unit: Main Idea for Google Slides

Also, I do want to suggest a great set of reading games that would go well with these task cards. There is a game for EACH READING STANDARD!!! It comes in a set of 10 for fiction, a set of 10 for nonfiction, or a bundle of 20 reading games specifically for 4th and 5th grades!

10 Fiction Reading Games

10 Nonfiction Reading Games

20 Reading Games Bundle

Finally, if you like my work, I would love for you to follow me by clicking on the green star at the top of the page.

Thanks so much!


©The Teacher Next Door™

Purchasing this product grants permission for use by one teacher in his or her own classroom or one homeschool parent with his/her children. If you would like to share with others, please purchase an additional license.

This resource may not be placed on the internet (except in a password-protected website for students, like Google Classroom™), on a school website visible to the public, or on a district server. Please email me if you have any questions:

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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 two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.


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