Main Topic Main Idea and Key Details

Grade Levels
1st - 2nd
Formats Included
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Do have a difficult time teaching the difference between Main Topic and Main Idea?
If so, this product was made just for you! Using hands-on fun activities, students will learn about Main Topic, Main Idea, and Key Details using a PowerPoint, games, and differentiated Non-Fiction Books.

This fun and engaging unit includes:

Power Point Slideshow

  • To introduce this concept, I have included a Power Point Slide show that introduces and teaches what Main Topic, Main Idea, and Key Details means. The slideshow shows examples and gets students talking and interacting with the teacher. The slideshow is 60 slides. A PDF version is also included so that you can use any of the slides as Anchor Charts etc.

Finding the Main Topic

  • This activity gets the students up and moving around the room. Each student will have a picture (Key Detail) and will have to find the matching picture (Main Topic). Students interact and work together to find the four pictures that match each main topic. (See preview for pictures).

What's the Topic Game

  • This game is played similar to Headbands. Students get into groups of about 4. One student puts a picture on their forehead (Main Topic) and the other students give that student clues (Key Details) as to what they are. The guessing student gets 5 chances to guess their picture in order to keep their card for a point. There are a couple of different options of how to play this game in the product. (See preview for pictures).

Non-Fiction Text

  • There are two different non-fiction books (Elephants and Baby Penguins) included in this product. There are three different levels for each book to allow for differentiation. After reading the text, students will find the Main Topic, Main Idea, and Key Details. (See preview for pictures).

Additional Worksheets

  • There are additional worksheets to use in addition to any of the lessons above. They worksheets could also be used as an assessment.

I have used these activities in my own first grade classroom. I encourage you to check out the preview to see how I used it.

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JD's Rockin' Readers

Total 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.
Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.


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