I Can Find the Main Idea
Being able to identify the main idea in a text is key to understanding what you read. In the lesson plan, I Can Find the Main Idea first graders will learn how to summarize short stories in one sentence. Using an outline of a daisy, children will write (or draw) the main idea of a story in the middle, and use the leaves to identify important details such as the setting, characters, and events. Recognizing the main idea is an important task for young readers to master and it helps increase their reading comprehension skills.
Students will be able to identify the main idea and details of simple texts.
- Begin by telling your students that you are going to read them a story.
- Let them know while you are reading, you want them to think about the main idea of the story.
- Help your students understand what a main idea of a story is by reading a short passage from one of your stories.
- Ask the students to tell you in one sentence what the story was about. Tell them that the summary they're generating is the story's main idea.
- Talk about student answers and discuss how to pick out the main idea.
- Check for understanding before moving on. It may be necessary to try with another brief story to be sure students have a solid understand of finding the main idea
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(20 minutes)
- Take your chart paper and draw a large circle in the middle.
- At the top of the circle, write "Main Idea." This circle will be the center of the daisy graphic organizer you are creating for an anchor chart. Draw at least 4 petals. You will write the story details on the petals.
- Explain to the students that you will be reading another short story to them. This time, you will write the story's main idea in the center of your daisy.
- Read your second story, and again request that students volunteer to tell in one sentence what the story was about.
- As a group, develop a sentence describing the story's main idea and write it in the center of your daisy.
- Tell your students that the petals of the flower add color and beauty to the flower.
- Let them know that you will be writing down the details of the story on the petals. Just like a flowers petals the details of the story add interest and color to the story. Ask students about story characters actions, problems and resolution. Write down these details on the petals of the daisy.
- Once you're done, display the chart for student reference.
Guided Practice(20 minutes)
- Give all students a copy of the daisy drawings.
- Read the short story and ask students to tell you what the story is about in one sentence.
- After listening to students' answers and discussing the main idea, ask students to draw pictures in the daisy’s center to show the story's main idea.
- Encourage them to add words to their drawing.
- Challenge higher level students by asking them to write a sentence about the main idea.
- Next, ask students to draw pictures of the story's main characters on two of the petals.
- Direct them to draw a picture of the setting of the story on another petal.
- On the remaining petals, students should draw pictures of events in the story.
- Walk around and check students' understanding.
Independent working time(15 minutes)
- Once students have completed their drawings in their flower graphic organizer, ask them to add words or sentences about their pictures.
- They will work on this part independently.
- Enrichment: Challenge students who are above level to add sentences instead of words and pictures. Allow them to each create another graphic organizer.
- Support: Allow struggling students to use pictures in their graphic organizer. Provide a list of words for them to choose when they a completing the final step of their daisy graphic organizer.
- At the end of the lesson, collect students' graphic organizers.
- Review and assess the graphic organizer for mastery of the concepts.
Review and closing(10 minutes)
- Ask for students volunteers to come up, display their graphic organizers, and talk about the pictures they drew. * Connect the details to the story's main idea in your discussion.