Lesson: Identifying Supporting Details

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Lesson Objective

Students will write a main idea sentence with two supporting details about a non-ficiton passage.

Lesson Plan

Lesson Procedures:

  1. Teacher says: Yesterday we went to the library.  If I was trying to write a summary about our experience at the library and my main idea sentence was "Our trip to the library was very enjoyable", what details about our trip would I include to support that statement?
  2. Students share answers.  (Take the opportunity to address any answers that do not support main idea statement.)
  3. Teacher says:  This is what we are going to work on in our summaries, how to choose supporting details for our main idea sentence.  
  4. Teacher has worksheet distributed.  Teacher works from overhead and students on their worksheets.
  5. Teacher reads article and students follow along. (Or students read with a partner aloud)
  6. Teacher asks:  Does this article sound familiar? (It was the article from the previous lesson)
  7. Teacher asks:  What was the main idea of this article?  (Ask a student to look up main idea sentence from previous lesson in notes.  Teacher writes it on over head students on their worksheets.)
  8. Teacher models finding a detail from the article that supports main idea and demonstrates paraphrasing that detail into a sentence to add to worksheet.
  9. Students work in table groups to find another detail from the article that supports main idea.  
  10. Review answer as a class.  Teacher aids in creating a paraphrased sentence of detail from article.
  11. Students work independently to find one more detail that supports main idea. (This last response acts as an exit ticket.)
  12. Students then work independently on Summary Writing Project where they add three supporting details to their summary draft.


Teaching Reflection:

This lesson is a minilesson to go before students working on their Summary Wiriting Project.  In the miniliesson students learn about identifying supporting details and then find supporting details for their own summary that they are writing independently.  I use the exit ticket to determine what students I pull into a small group for extra support while the other students are working independently on their own writing.


This lesson can be extended by adding another article that students work on to find supporting details so that they get a little more practice before doing it on their final project.  I added web links to this lesson that can connect you to more article resources. 

Lesson Resources

Señor Summary - Supporting Details Worksheet.docx  
Articles for Students to find Main Idea and S


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