Lesson: Main Idea of a Paragraph

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Lesson Objective

Nonfiction readers find the main idea of a paragraph by asking “What do all these facts have in common?” SWBAT identify the main idea of 2 paragraphs in their non-fiction texts by asking “What do all these facts have in common?”

Lesson Plan

 

TP:

Nonfiction readers find the main idea of a paragraph by asking "What do all these facts have in common?"

 

SWBAT identify the main idea of 2 paragraphs in their non-fiction texts by asking "What do all these facts have in common?"

 

Connect:

Readers, yesterday you were able to find the main idea of a paragraph/section from your books by looking at the heading and repeated words and asking "What am I learning about these?" Today we will learn another strategy to help us if we don't see repeating words.

 

Teach:

Today I want to teach you that non-fiction readers find the main idea of a paragraph by asking "What do all these facts have in common?"

 

This is important because finding the main idea tells us that we understood the most important thing/s that the author was trying to tell us.

 

Steps:

1. Read heading and paragraph text

2. Ask "What do all these facts have in common?" (the same)

Watch me as I read the section 'Different Colors' from the book 'Why do Leaves Fall?"

 

(Read text) So I am learning that the leaves of different trees can turn different colors. Maple trees turn red and orange. White birch trees turn yellow. Oak trees become reddish-brown.

 

What do all these facts have in common? I notice they are all telling me about the different colors each tree's leaves turn. So, I think that main idea is that the leaves of the different types of trees turn different colors.

 

Active Engagement:

Now it's your turn! Let's look at section titled 'Why are Evergreen Trees Always Green?' (Read text and list facts learned) What is a fact you heard? What do all these facts have in common?

(Evergreen Trees are always green because they can do photosynthesis all year long.)

 

Link:

Today and everyday when you are finding the main idea of a section of text, remember to  read the heading and text and then ask yourself "What do all these facts have in common?"

 

Today you will find the main idea of two sections from your independent reading book by using this strategy.

 

Independent Work:

Reading A-Z Leveled Texts:

Level D: City Animals

Level G: Discovering Dinosaurs

Level M: Breeds of Dogs

 

SWBAT find the main idea of two paragraphs/section from their 'just-right' text by asking "What do all these facts have in common?"

 

Share:

The main idea of this section is ____________________________. I know this because ____________________________.

 

 

What went well? The demonstration is easy for the kids to get. If it helps, they can also list facts alongside you across their fingers. The reading a-z texts worked well for the independent work.

 

What would you change? The section of the text used for the active engagement might be too difficult for kids who are just learning about main idea or who don't have the science background knowledge in photosynthesis.

 

What needs explaining? I print out 'just-right' texts for groups of kids in my class from Readinga-z.com. The site gives you the ability to search by particular skills you are looking to teach.

 

 

Lesson Resources

Main Idea   Other
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Reading A-Z
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How Leaves Change Color (Amazon)
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Main Idea Day 2   Lesson Plan
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