Teaching main idea can be frustrating. This main idea resource helps scaffold students into having a true understanding of the difference between main idea and key details. Students will get to practice their main idea skills in both fiction and nonfiction/informational text.
The activities can be differentiated – they start easy (with activities that make a great introduction for beginners) and get progressively more challenging. Students practice finding the main idea and supporting details using a variety of different strategies.
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In this main idea unit, students practice in a variety of hands on ways before introducing main idea and supporting details within paragraphs. Several activities are cut and paste.
1. Students sort words into groups and determine an appropriate title (the main idea) for each of the groups.
2. Students are given a main idea topic and have to come up with supporting details.
3. Students are given supporting details and have to determine the main idea.
4. Students are given several related words and have to determine which of the words represents the main idea.
Finally, students practice main idea and supporting details within text.
1. Students read several paragraphs on the same topic and have to come up with appropriate titles for each paragraph.
2. Students are given a paragraph, and they have to determine which sentence in the paragraph does not belong because it does not support the main idea.
3. Students are given a short paragraph and 4 sentences about the paragraph. They must determine which sentence represents the main idea of the paragraph, and which sentences are details.
4. Students read a one-page reading passage and fill in a graphic organizer that has them identify the main idea and details of each of the body paragraphs.
These activities can be used for small groups, assessments/test, center activities, explicit instruction, reading comprehension practice, reading workshop, for special education students, for reading stations, and more.
An answer key is included.
This directly addresses common core standards: RI 2.2, RI 3.2, RI 4.2 for 2nd grade, 3rd grade, and 4th grade students.
Some comments about this main idea upper elementary resource:
"This is a great resource and I am so excited to use it with my 2nd graders! Main idea is a difficult concept for them to grasp and this product is very thorough and definitely scaffolds their learning. Thank you for creating this!"
"This is a very engaging way to teach main idea to students who struggle with this concept. My special ed. kiddos did a great job with this unit!"
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