Lesson plan

Main Ideas, Please!

Your students will be introduced to the concept of a main idea in this fun lesson using props to support their thinking.
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Students will be able to write supporting details for a given main idea.

(10 minutes)
  • Tell students that today they will be learning about a new reading concept called the main idea.
  • Tell students that to help them with this, you have some items to show them.
  • Show the students three boxes. One by one pull objects out of each box. All the objects in each box go with one main idea. For example, have one box with all cooking items, one with painting items, etc.
  • Have students guess how the items in the box are related.
(15 minutes)
  • Tell students that when we read, we are looking for the main idea. The main idea is similar to the way that everything in the box is related. The items in the box that make up that main idea are the supporting details that help tell more or better explain the main idea.
  • Choose one box to review and refer to the main idea of the box and objects in it as the supporting details.
  • Tell students that today we will write about a main idea.
  • Draw a graphic organizer on the board similar to the one on the When I Grow Up worksheet.
  • Tell students that the main idea we will write about is their favorite animal.
  • Model writing this in the center of the graphic organizer.
  • Think aloud as you write supporting details for your chosen favorite animal. Emphasize how every detail needs to match the main idea.
(15 minutes)
  • Have students work in pairs to fill a graphic organizer about why your classroom or school is a great place.
  • Share the supporting details students came up with.
(15 minutes)
  • Have students complete the When I Grow Up graphic organizer independently.
  • Enrichment: Have students in need of a challenge attempt to take their graphic organizer and turn it into a paragraph.
  • Support: Support students in need of help by asking guiding questions to help them narrow down specific ideas for their supporting details. Have these students refer back to the boxes from the beginning of the lesson to make connections about the relationship between the main idea and the supporting details.
(10 minutes)
  • Circulate as students work, making sure to ask them how their details support the main idea.
  • Collect the students’ work at the end of the lesson to assess for mastery.
(5 minutes)
  • Call students together. Have students share the different supporting details they wrote for what they want to be when they grow up.
  • Review the relationship between main idea and supporting details.

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