Lesson: Main Idea: Answering Question in Title
Point: Writers organize their writing to help the reader figure out the main idea. Writers sometimes help readers know the main idea by including a question in the title and introduction. The answer to the question is usually the main idea.
Link: Readers, this week we are talking about how writers organize their writing to help the reader figure out the main idea. Yesterday, we talked about using the introduction to help us figure out the main idea. Today, I am going to teach you how you can use a question in the title or introduction to figure out the main idea.
Teaching: Writers sometimes use a question for their title or in their introduction. They do this to help make the reader curious and also to help the reader figure out the main idea because the answer to the question is often the main idea of the book. Let’s look back at How Do Animals Adapt? The title of the whole book is a question. We haven’t talked about the main idea of whole books yet, but the main idea of this book is the answer to this question – Animals adapt by changing their bodies and their behaviors to match their environment. We can also look at the first section of the book. This section has a question as a title – “Why Do Animals Adapt?” The answer to that question is the main idea of this section.
Active Engagement: Now, I’m going to give you a chance to try this. There are some whole books organized as question and answer books. Here is one: Do Tarantulas Have Teeth? Questions and Answers and Poisonous Creatures. The main idea of this book is actually not the answer to the question “Do Tarantulas Have Teeth?” but instead it is about all kinds of poisonous animals. This book is completely organized by asking questions and then answering them. I am going to read you a section now and you are going to try to figure out the main idea by using the question to help you. [Read “Do All Honeybees Sting?” and then give them time to turn and talk the main idea.]
Link: Today and every day, when you read a non-fiction book, notice whether the title or introduction has a question in it. Often, but not always, the answer to that question is the main idea. Off you go.
Share: Did anyone notice a question in their title or introduction today? If so, share it and tell us whether the answer was the main idea.
Materials: How Do Animals Adapt, Do Tarantulas Have Teeth?
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