Finding the main idea is the most important reading comprehension skill kids will learn, and it requires lots of reinforcement. Our main idea worksheets keep kids engaged with fun and interesting reading passages carefully selected for each grade. Take a look at other fourth grade worksheets to practice additional comprehension skills.
What is the Main Idea?
Downloading and printing the above main idea worksheets are a surefire way to gain practice with finding the main idea in a story. From nonfiction passages about animals to summaries of classic tales, the focus here is on exposure to a wide range of texts. Reading comprehension worksheets with questions that challenge kids to think deeply about the ideas presented in a text will help build analytical skills. Here are some additional strategies for helping kids find the main idea in a story:
Make sure students have a strong understanding of categorization and basic reasoning skills; they should understand that all apples are fruits, but not all fruits are apples. This will cue their brain to sort out the main idea from the other information presented in a text.
Introduce kids to two of the most important words in the world of reading comprehension: "Who" and "What". If they can answer who the story is about and what the story is about, they are well on their way to finding out the main idea.
Especially for visual learners, analyzing the title and pictures that go along with a story is a great way for kids to learn how to focus in on the main idea.