Reflection: Developing a Conceptual Understanding Ostrich: Friend or Foe? - Section 3: Independent/Partner Work


I was surprised that many students struggled with the difference between main idea and supporting details.  During the mini-lesson I modeled with the help of the students how to answer question number one.    Student #1 answered it the way I expected most students to answer it.  Student #2 work is representative of how many students answered the question.  She wrote two main ideas, but she also included 2 supporting details.  She needed to read the entire paragraph and highlight the four main ideas- 4 world records that the ostrich holds.  This would have helped this student and others who were having the same difficulty.

My students need more work understanding the difference between main ideas and supporting details.  To give them practice with this skill I will use a strategy of having students highlight the main idea in one color and the supporting details in another color.  I can also use the analogy of the main idea sentence like the top of a table and the supporting details like the legs of the table.  They tell more about the main idea.

Throughout the year students will have many opportunities to work with main idea and supporting details both in reading lots of informational texts and with expository writing using the boxes and bullets planning method.  The box is where you write your main idea and the bullets are supporting details, reasons, or facts that tell more about the main idea.


  Developing a Conceptual Understanding: Main ideas versus supporting details
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Ostrich: Friend or Foe?

Unit 4: Informational Texts
Lesson 2 of 2

Objective: SWBAT read a 4/5 level informational text using root words knowledge to figure out new words and quote accurately from the text when explaining what the texts says and draw inferences from the text; SWBAT write opinion piece on a topic synthesizing across two texts.

Big Idea: Students will successfully read an informational text using word strategies and quote accurately from the text to answer main idea questions.

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