Main Idea and Details | Main Topic | Central Idea

Rated 4.83 out of 5, based on 24 reviews
24 Ratings
Jamie Rector
Grade Levels
2nd - 4th
Formats Included
  • PDF
39 pages
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Jamie Rector

What educators are saying

Such a great idea to teach this concept. We loved completing the puzzles and working out the main idea and the supporting details. Thank you
My second graders loved the hands-on activity and were able to quickly relate the puzzle concept to finding the main idea of a story.


This hands-on reading unit will help you teach main topic, main idea or central idea, and key supporting details in your 2nd, 3rd, or 4th grade classroom with any informational text!


  • a hands-on mini lesson
  • center activity (2 versions)
  • differentiated interactive notebook (3 levels)
  • differentiated folded booklets (3 levels)
  • writing task
  • differentiated assessment (3 levels)


  • Interactive notebook pages are included for those classrooms who utilize notebooks while folded booklets are provided for those classrooms who do NOT utilize notebooks.
  • Both main idea and central idea wording are included due to variation in standards.


  • Mini-Lesson Engagement Activity: Students will learn about main topic, main idea or central idea, and key details using a hands-on jigsaw puzzle.
  • Center Activity: Students will complete a puzzle and tell the main idea and details of the puzzle with partners or cooperative learning groups. Then they will complete the same activity and organizer with any text.
  • Differentiated Independent Practice: Students will complete a differentiated interactive notebook activity and/or a folded booklet on main idea and details to use with any text and differentiated at 3 different levels.
  • Writing Task: Students will complete a written response about main topic, main idea or central idea, and key details using any text.
  • Differentiated Assessment: Students will complete a graphic organizer on main idea and details using a provided text that is differentiated at 3 levels.

Please download the PREVIEW file to get an in-depth look at all that's included in this download!

Interested in a COMPLETE SYSTEM for assessing students in reading using ANY text?

  1. Common Core Reading Graphic Organizers - 2nd Grade
  2. Common Core Reading Interactive Notebook - 2nd Grade
  3. Common Core Digital Graphic Organizers - 2nd Grade

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The Common Core Standards were developed and written by the NGA.

© Copyright 2010. National Governors Association Center for Best Practices and Council of Chief State School Officers. All rights reserved.

Total Pages
39 pages
Answer Key
Teaching Duration
1 Week
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Identify the main topic of a multiparagraph text as well as the focus of specific paragraphs within the text.
Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.
Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.


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