Lesson: Main Idea: Writing Just Right Main Ideas

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Lesson Objective

Readers can sort main ideas into those that are too big, too small, or just right.

Lesson Plan

Point: Readers can sort main ideas into those that are too big, too small, or just right.

Connection: We have been working on understanding what the author is trying to teach us in each section.  Yesterday we learned that use the information in each section to help us figure out what the text is all about – to help us figure out the main idea.  Sometimes you come up with the main idea, but aren’t sure if it’s exactly right.  Today I am going to teach you how you can sort main ideas into different categories.

Teach: Sometimes when we try to figure out what a non-fiction text is all about, we end of naming the topic.  A topic is usually just a word or two.  Every non-fiction book we read has a topic.  It might be “spiders”, “plant”, or “the moon.”  These words tell the topic of the book, but they don’t tell the main idea.  The main idea is what the author thinks about the topic.  If you name just the topic, your main idea is too big.  Sometimes you start to say what the author thinks about the topic, but don’t tell the all of the author’s main point.  Then you main idea is not detailed enough.  It is too big.  Let’s think about, How do Animals Adapt? A main idea that is too big would be: “Animals adapt” or “Animals can change.”

Sometimes while reading, we remember the teeny tiny details out of the articles that we find really interesting.  Then when we start talking about the main idea – what the text is all about – we give a main idea that is too little.  Let’s think about How do Animals Adapt? again.  A main idea that is too little would be: “Animals can adapt to the dark” or “Animals adapt to the seasons.”  A main idea is also too little if we go on and on and on.  Yesterday we decided that the main idea of How do Animals Adapt? is…

Animals change their bodies and how they live in order to find food, take care of their young, and protect themselves from predators.

If we were to go on and on and on and list different examples of animals that adapt such as “The blubber of a walrus keeps it warm during the coldest winter months”, then our main idea would also be too little.

Yesterday we all wrote the main idea of “Super Crocs” on a post-it note.  Last night I typed up those main ideas and today we are going to sort them into three categories: too big, too small, just right.

Active Engagement: DO THE SORT WITH THE CLASS ON WHITEBOARD

Link: Yesterday you wrote the main idea of your non-fiction book on a post it note.  Today I want you to reread that post it note and see if the main idea you wrote is too big, too small, or just right.  If it is too big or too small, change it so it is just right.

Share: Who can raise their hand and share their post-it note?

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