Teaching main idea and detail is such a difficult skill for students to understand. This activity is a great way to provide students with visual pictures for them to connect a main idea to.
Students cut out a set of detail cards. They glue the cards on the outside detail circle of the recording sheet. Students then think of how the detail cards are related and develop a main idea for the cards. They write their main idea in the middle circle. I have also had students write a story using the main idea that they developed and the detail cards. For longer lasting, this activity can be laminated and used in a writing center.