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EL Support Lesson
Putting it Together to Find the Main Idea
Which set of standards are you looking for?
Students will be able to identify and write the main ideas and details of a text.
Students will be able to identify the main idea and supporting details of a fiction text with grade level words using written supports.
- Display the cover of a well known book to your class. Ask the students what they think the book is about.
- Say, "This book is about ____. Since it is mainly about ____, this is the main idea."
- Explain that today they will learn more about how to decide what a book is about using some fun activities.
Building academic language
- Introduce the remaining tiered vocabulary words to the students by displaying the vocabulary cards and sharing the definitions. Have the students practice using the words in a sentence by turning and talking to a peer.
- Project the Find the Main Idea worksheet (covering the answers) and read aloud the first short story ("Susie and the Frisbee") aloud to the class.
- Model identifying the main idea.
- Read aloud the second story, this time having students turn and talk to a partner to identify the main idea.
- As a class, find the supporting details. Underline the supporting details so that students can visualize where they are in the story.
- Explain that now you will be reading another short story. This time students will practice identifying the main idea on their own.
- Pass out the Find the Main Idea: Apples worksheet and read the text aloud.
- Have students complete the worksheet on their own.
- Gather the class back together.
- Invite students to turn and talk to share the supporting details they found with a partner.
- Have student pairs share out the supporting details they identified with the whole group.
Additional EL adaptations
- Work with a small group of students to identify the main idea and supporting details in the remaining stories of the Find the Main Idea worksheet.
- Have students work together using the Main Idea Topic Cards to identify the main idea using visual support.
- Have students who finish early complete the What's the Main Idea? worksheet.
- Have students practice finding the supporting details using the Main Idea: Farmers worksheet.
Formative assessment of academic language(5 minutes)
- Informally assess understanding by checking in with students while they work to see if they are able to identify the main idea.
- At the end of the lesson, collect student worksheets and assess whether students were able to accurately identify the main idea and supporting details.
Review and closing(5 minutes)
- Gather the class back together and invite students to share out one supporting detail they found in the story. Record ideas on the board for the class to see.
- Have students reflect on the lesson by asking them to share one thing they learned with a partner.