Lesson: Not just the Main Idea! Finding 3 things!

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to identify the main idea in a text and determine the topic, a new title for the passage, and construct a sentence that supports their findings.

Lesson Plan


State  Standard:  3.IT-E.1:  Identify the purpose or main point and supporting details. 

Standard Name: Main Idea in Informational text


Students will be able to identify the main idea in a text and determine the topic, a new title for the passage, and construct a sentence that supports their findings. 

Do-Now:  Write 4 lines about something you did over the weekend.  When you are finished underline what line you think best describes the main idea of your paragraph. 

Opening:  Have you ever wondered what the big deal with this main idea stuff is?  Like why is my teacher spending so much time teaching me about the main idea when so frequently I have to find out so much other information besides the main idea?  Well that is because knowing the main idea is important.  When we know the main idea we are really understanding the just of what we are suppose to be learning about.  We have an idea about the topic and what we are going to learn from our reading.  Frequently we are asked to answer questions about the main idea, or rename a title of a passage, which is also another way for test takers or assessors to figure out if we know what the main idea is.  When we figure out the main idea, we can actually do 3 things to realize that we are really strong readers. 

Directed Instruction:  When we think of a main idea, we ask ourselves what is this mostly about?  While we are asking ourselves that think to yourself, we can actually answer some important questions about main idea.  When we know the main idea we can more than just identify what the passage or story is mostly about.  We can also identify the topic, can create a new title, and can write a sentence that supports why you have chosen your main idea.  When we have a clear  vision of our main idea we are able to state three things that show we have a strong understanding as readers.  Today we will learn how to declare the main idea of a passage, article, book, or reading, and then be able to state the topic, create  new or main idea centered title, and then write a sentence the supports our choice in a main idea.  When we can support our main idea we can confirm our findings and support our thinking that is what makes us good readers. 


Guided Practice:  Choose a passage, article, reading, or book to model with the students.  You can display the passage, do a simple read aloud, or distribute copies of your reading to your students.  Read aloud the passage to the students , I would read it once thoroughly and then read it again using out loud thinking, jotting down notes, questions, and highlighting important information.  Talk out how you would generate a main idea. Have an anchor chart that looks as the model below.  Fill in each area and model thinking aloud how you are creating each object. 

Then do another reading, have students do think aloud, highlight, add questions and talk through information.  Have them come up with the topic, title, and sentence to support. 


*Copy this on chart paper to model 2x:  one time for you to fill out, one time for you to have a guided practice: 

Should be introduced as:

Title of Passage:

My Main Idea:

Topic of my passage:

New Title:

Sentence to support:


Independent Practice: Divide students up into groups, then can visit different stations and complete the worksheet that is the same as what you modeled using different types of passages.  You can distribute different passages to different students to differentiate.  You can use a past test or test passage to use as a review resource to have students better practicing how they can use this strategy when test taking. 

Closing:  What did we learn today?  What are three things we can also determine when we determine the main idea of a passage?  When you look back on your do-now what three things can you also tell me

Quiz:  Read a passage.  Come up with 3 test questions and answers for what would be a good title, what would be a good main idea, what would be a good topic.  Pass to your partner on the right.  Grade yourself as a main idea test creator and a main idea expert. 

Lesson Resources

main idea lesson 3 things  


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