Lesson Plan

In Search of the Main Idea

Young learners will love finding the main ideas in short informational texts. Featuring a bunch of fun worksheets, this lesson will help students learn about different topics while improving their reading skills.
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Main ideas and Details pre-lesson.
View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Main ideas and Details pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to identify main ideas and supporting details.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments


(10 minutes)
Find the Main Idea: ElephantFind the Main Idea: The MoonFind the Main Idea: Shark
  • Tell students that the main idea is the most important or central idea in a paragraph. Just like there is a main street in a town, there is a main idea in a written passage.
  • Show students a box. Place various cooking supplies in the box. Pull out one object from the box at a time. At the end, ask what these items all have in common.
  • Make the connection that the theme of this box is also its main idea.
  • Beginning: Give students the name of all the objects. Allow ELs to act out how they would use the tools to show they're understanding.
  • Intermediate: Encourage them to provide an example of how all the objects are used together. Provide a word box of the tools.
    • Have ELs tell a partner the definition of main ideas and supporting details, either in English or their home language (L1). If needed, provide the sentence stem "The main idea is ___."
    • Model with a familiar or culturally relevant topic.