Lesson plan

Capture and Connect the Details!

Can your students capture the details that lead to the central idea in a text? In this lesson, students will work collaboratively to connect the details with the central ideas.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

Students will be able to identify key events in a myth or tall tale and use them to determine the central idea.

(5 minutes)
  • Introduce the lesson by posing the question: What is a tall tale?
  • Give students the opportunity to share their thinking
  • Tell the students that they will be learning to “capture” and use events from tall tales or myths to identify the central idea of each story.
(10 minutes)
  • Demonstrate the process of creating a foldable by folding a piece of construction paper once lengthwise and twice on the width. (After you have folded the paper you should have eight small rectangles.)
  • Explain to the students that they will be creating their own foldable and using it later in the lesson.
  • Begin reading one story from selected anthology. As you read, model the process of recording one important event inside each square.
  • Show the students how the ideas can be used to find the central idea in the text.
(10 minutes)
  • Create an additional foldable, this time with the purpose of using it in guided practice.
  • Read a separate short story from one of the anthologies, stopping periodically.
  • Invite students to help you fill in eight sections of the foldable with events from the text.
  • Cut apart the rectangles on the lines and use a piece of tape or magnet to affix each one to the board.
  • Invite students to participate in moving the ideas around on the board, grouping them to represent a central idea.
(15 minutes)
  • Divide students into four different groups and distribute one of the following four texts to each group: Mike Fink, Pecos Bill, Sally Ann Thunder Ann Whirlwind Crockett, and Paul Bunyan. (If desired, give multiple copies of the book to the same group or use alternate text selections.)
  • Give each person in the group a piece of paper, pencil, and scissors to create their foldable.
  • Have the students read alternately (such as a pair reading chorally and then another pair reading chorally) and then complete their graphic organizers with events from the text.
  • Invite students to work as a group to determine central ideas.


  • Have the students write their own modified versions of tall tales and then swap with a partner to determine key events and central ideas.


  • Use highlighter tape to highlight focal sections of text for the students.
  • Provide alternate text or leveled readers for students to use in independent practice time.
  • Have students create a set of slides and pictures that portrays the events found in the text.
  • Utilize an interactive whiteboard and have the students sort and determine which events would support a main idea and which events would not support that idea.
(10 minutes)
  • Have students choose one of the texts that they heard or read.
  • Ask students to complete the Connect the Events worksheet.
(5 minutes)
  • Invite students to share the book that they worked on during independent work time.
  • Ask students to share the key events that led them to find the central ideas.

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