Lesson: Main Idea - Titles

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to identify the main idea of a text by only using the title, introduction and conclusion of the passage.

Lesson Plan

Do Now:  If you had to give yourself a title what would it be?  Share with the members of your table when you have finished writing it down. 


Did you ever look at whole passage and wonder woah, how can I read all of that and than think of what are all of those paragraphs all about?  How can I narrow all of that down.  Today you are going to learn a strategy for finding the main idea that doesn’t seem so “overwhelming”!  Get ready main idea masters!

Teach:  Finding the main idea of an entire text can be really easy when we just focus on a few important parts:  the title, the introduction, and the conclusion.  Secretly a lot of times hints of the main ideas are even given in the introduction and conclusion. 

Model the passage from the mid-quarter the North Pole.  White out all of the text besides the title, intro, and conclusion. You can also use some of the passages that have been attached with this lesson as resources to use and then use the questions to access the students when they are finished.

Show main idea question, and show correct answer.

Demonstrate how you can determine the main idea directly from the last line of the text. 

Highlight the importance of looking at the title, introduction, and conclusion.

Model with another passage with students.   

Guided Practice/Active Engagement:  Students share out what they think the main ideas might be based on reading the title, introductions, and conclusions. 

Today and everyday when you are looking for the main idea pay particular attention to the title, introduction, and conclusions to guide your decision making about the main idea. 

Independent Practice:  Reading a passage with only the title and introductions, and conclusions and determine a main idea. 

Highlighting the introduction and conclusion of the passage.  Using the titles.  Reading to students and having them generate answer choices.

Putting +’s and –‘s next to answer choices for possibilities and cross outs.

Teaching test taking strategies.
Looking at paragraphs and finding the main ideas.  Having students verbalize and introduction or a conclusion for a main idea. 

Writing a introduction and conclusion and having a friend determine your main idea.


Assessment:  Have students do one of the passages that are attached.  Encourage them to highlight the first sentence and last sentence in main idea of passage or of paragraph question is referencing and use the strategies to answer the questions. 


Lesson Resources

Big Bird Found Passage Main Idea  
main idea resource worksheet   Activity
Gasping for Air Passage Main Idea  


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