Michelle Kwan: Topic, Main Idea & Supporting details

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SWBAT identify the topic, main idea and supporting details in a text

Big Idea

What's the difference between a topic, a main idea & a supporting detail?

Cue Set

5 minutes

I begin our lesson by showing scholars the image of the fair.  Ask scholars, "what is the topic of this picture?  Main ideas?  Supporting details?"  I ask scholars to identify these concepts in a concrete picture so that they can associate a concrete image with the abstract concepts of topic, main idea and supporting detail. Give them 2 minutes to do so.

Some scholars may need more support, so as scholars are jotting down ideas, think aloud.  I say, "Hmm, the topic is how all of the things in the picture are related.  Well, I can tell just by looking at this picture that it is a fair.  The topic is fair.  Main ideas are the sections into which the topic is organized.  How is a fair organized?  Hmm, I see a ferris wheel, games where you can win stuffed animals and food booths.  Let's think about the supporting details.  We have a food vendor for funnel cakes, one for cotton candy and one for hotdogs.  That describes the food section more.  These are all related to the larger topic: a fair." 

You don't have to do the entire think aloud if scholars begin to jot down ideas.  The thinking here is that you start to get their juices flowing by thinking aloud. 

At the end of 2 minutes, give them 30 seconds to share with a friend.  Then, I grab 2 friends from my cup and get 1 volunteer to share thoughts. 

Teaching Strategy

10 minutes

I say, "Today we're going to continue our theme of "Give it All You've Got" by studying people who 'Gave it all they had'.  Today we're going to read about a young figure skater: Michelle Kwan.  As we read, we are going to practice identifying the topic, main idea and supporting details." 

I link our reading to the theme and the objective to help scholars create a schema for their learning. 

Then, we do a cloze reading of pages 136-137 of the fifth grade Houghton Mifflin text.  I model how to find the topic, main idea and supporting details of this section.  I model how to record my thinking on the graphic organizer.  Being able to analyze a text and record your thinking are two different skills.  Therefore, I explicitly model BOTH so that scholars can be successful.  I also explain to scholars that as texts become more complex, we, as readers, must record our thinking so that we don't get lost.  This helps ground scholars in the WHY behind the lesson.  

Guided Practice

30 minutes

Now, we do a cloze reading together of pages 139.  In partnerships scholars pause to discuss topic, main idea (of each section, there is only 1 for this section) and supporting details.  Scholars record on graphic organizer.  I select a section with only one main idea to scaffold the learning.  I've found that scholars become confused easily when there is more than one main idea in a text, therefore, I want them to just practice identifying supporting details.  Then, if scholars can identify supporting details on their own, they can practice identifying multiple main ideas within a text.  

Independent Practice

45 minutes

During the independent rotation, scholars read pages 143-150.  Again, they record topic, main idea and supporting details.  They also work on the independent checklist for the week.

When scholars come to my group they practice identifying topic, main idea and supporting details of a text that is on their highest instructional level.  

When scholars go to my ELL teacher, they practice identifying topic, main idea and supporting details of a text that is on their highest instructional level. 

My highest group has 1 rotation of me, 1 independent and 1 with the ELL co-teacher.  When scholars visit me and the ELL teacher, they are reading text that is on their highest instructional level.  This is different depending on their reading level.  It is important for scholars to have access to text at grade-level complexity and it is also important for them to experience independent reading that is at their level.  This is a key shift to the Common Core Standards.  In some cases, lower grade level texts are not complex enough.  Therefore, during the independent rotations and during explicit teaching, scholars read complex, on-grade level text.  During small group lessons, scholars read on-level text to target specific reading skills that will help them to advance reading levels.