Lesson: Main Idea: Using Supporting Details

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Lesson Objective

Readers use supporting details in pictures to find the main idea.

Lesson Plan

Point: Writers use lots of evidence to support the main idea.  These supporting details fill the text; they are found in every paragraph, all textual features, and all graphic features.  In each section, you should learn as much as you can about what that section is all about. Today it is your job to study the pictures and see how they connect to the main idea of the text.


Connection: Readers, this week we are learning about how the author supports her main idea with support details.  These supporting details fill the text and yesterday we talked about how they can be found in every section of the text.   Today, I am going to teach you that pictures in non-fiction provide supporting details and that it is your job to study the picture carefully and connect it to the main idea of the text.


Teaching: In fiction books, pictures are there to look pretty and be interesting for the reader to look at.  Non-fiction is different.  Pictures in non-fiction are not there to look pretty.  They are there to teach you more about the main idea.  Pictures in non-fiction sometimes hold important supporting details.  When you read non-fiction, you need to look at the pictures very carefully and ask yourself, “What does this teach me about the main idea of the text?”  Watch how I do this. [Model with the cat pupil picture from How Do Animals Adapt, section on “Adapting to the Dark” – pass this out to them ahead of time so that they can see picture and look at it carefully, too.  Connect what I am seeing in the picture to the main idea.]


Active Engagement: Now it’s your turn.  Look at the pictures on the next page of this selection.  Study the top picture carefully.  What does it teach you?  How does that relate to the main idea?  [pause for a minute to give them time to think and then have them turn and talk]


Link: Readers, today and every day when you read non-fiction, study the pictures carefully.  They are there to provide more supporting details so you need to think about how those pictures connect to the main idea.  Today in share I will ask people to show us a picture that they studied carefully and then I want to hear more about how that picture relates to the main idea.

Lesson Resources

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