Lesson: Idenfying The Main Idea

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to: identify and explain the main idea of a passage clearly define and write the main idea of a passage

Lesson Plan

Do Now
Remember the last movie you say what was it about? did you enjoy it?  Write a 4 -6 sentence paragraph about the movie?

You are on your way to Science class, and your friend asks you about the movie you saw last night. Your friend doesn't have time to hear about the whole two hours of the movie, but you can tell you friend in a few sentences what the movie is about.
What's it all about?  The answer to this question is the main idea. The main idea refers to what a paragraph or an article is about. "Main" means what is important, or key, the heart of the matter. "Idea" means the thought, the thesis or the topic.

Direct Instruction

Teacher will show a powerpoint presentation on main idea.  This powerpoint is interactive and will require that the students pay close attention and provide answers to questions.  It will show them how to identify main idea and provide them with practice on itentifying it.

Guided Practice
The direct Instruction will collide with the guided practice because students will be practicing how to identify main idea in the powerpoint.

Independent Practice
In groups or independently students will work on identifying the main idea practice exercises.

Using the paragraph you wrote for do now, identify the main idea.  If you do not have a main idea - clearly rewrite one ensuring that your other three sentences support the main idea. 

Lesson Resources

Stated main Idea Practice   Classwork
Main Idea How To Identify It   Smart Board


Cathy Roach Posted 2 days ago:

Sam is talking about some of the examples in the main idea practice sheet.  I know my 6th graders would not be able to handle the example about pregnancy, because of course, they are 6th graders, but I wouldn't use any examples I haven't read first.  If I were going to use this practice sheet, I would delete any examples that my students couldn't handle before giving it to them.


Jaime Castillo Verduzco Posted one month ago:

Hi, Lindsey,

I see this post was created nearly 6 years ago, and doesn't seem to have been modified since then, so, I just wanted to respond to Sam's e-mail upstairs, if I could, with a big look of confusion on my face.

I've read through each of your resources and have absolutely no clue what Sam (not sure to say "he/she/whatever-it-is-people-are-going-by-nowadays", but whatever) is talking about!  NOTHING in your resources came even close to even alluding to anything that could be even mildly embarrassing to anyone.  Perhaps two of Sam's students were having a very hard time identifying the main idea, and clearly, Sam was not able to help them solve this problem.

So far, what I have seen helps me trust your judgment as an educator, and I want to THANK YOU for sharing your knowledge and creativity with us in order to help students everywhere.  Sam apparently is having some issues, but, don't let that be a deterrant for being the great educator you surely are.

Jaime A. C. Verduzco

Sam King Posted 3 months ago:


I have used a couple of your lesson plans in the past.  Unfortunately, I trusted you on this lesson plan and only read through a few of your passages on the resource where students find the main idea of a passage.  I was inexplicably embarrassed in front of my students for trusting you as we read the passage that you (and I'm sure that YOU wrote this passage, as it is opinion-based and NOT factual--unless you are reading a manual from the 1950's about gender identity or referring to your country bumpkin preacher's views on appropriate gender boundaries) listed regarding gender identity.   Is it my fault--yes, for trusting your judgement as an educator.  However, when my studnets read this, I had two students ask me, "So you're saying I have a disorder because I wear boy's clothing?"  

I'm not sure of your upbringing, your class, or your ethics, but I am so saddened by the fact that you included this passage in your resource for students.  I apologized to students, and told them that I would never again use this source for classroom materials.  

Shame on you.  Your worksheet goes against everything education is about--your personal convictions should never be presented in the classroom.  We are facilitators, not brain-washers.  

Jesus would never perpetuate such shaming of a child figuring out themselves.  




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