Lesson Plan

Main Idea: It's in the Bag!

Help your class grasp the concept of "main idea" with this fun, hands-on lesson. Students will dive into mystery bags full of supportive detail clues to determine the main idea of each bag.
View aligned standards

Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to identify the main idea and supporting details in a passage.


(15 minutes)
Main Idea Recording SheetFind the Main Idea: ElephantMain Idea of a Story
  • Begin the lesson by reviewing the definition of main idea, or the most important topic or idea in a text.
  • Explain the concept of main idea by talking about a familiar book or story. Explain the difference between a topic (one word) and the main idea (a sentence).
  • Read the text the Main Idea: Elephants attachment to the class. After finishing, highlight what the main idea is, using supporting details, or facts, statements, or examples that help illustrate the main idea.
  • Summarize the main idea in a concluding sentence. Write the sentence on your whiteboard.
  • Ask students to describe to their elbow partner the main idea of the text and how that main idea relates to the topic of the text. Choose volunteers to share their ideas aloud with the class.
  • Explain to the class that today, they will be split into groups to look through mystery bags of supporting details and determine the "main idea" of each bag. They will write a conclusion sentence that summarizes the main idea of each bag, and share their findings with the class.