Using our Main Idea Lesson Plan, students will correctly identify the main idea of informational and literary texts. Students will further develop their critical thinking and reading comprehension skills by explaining how details support the identification of main idea. Enhance the expressive communication skills by challenging students to capture the main idea in just 1 to 2 sentences.
Sample Classroom Procedure / Teacher Instruction
- Since this lesson covers a range from 1st-2nd grade, you may need to differentiate the types of independent passages and reading selections given in order to account for reading abilities. Readworks.org, as listed in the additional resources area is an excellent option for free, printable passages arranged by reading grade level and lexile level.
- Call your students to the common area, front of room, rug, etc. and pull out several books that you have already during the year, or that they are familiar with. For example, you might use the story of The Three Little Pigs. Ask your students “What’s this story all about? Who thinks they can tell me in only two sentences?” Take volunteers to answer the question, guiding them to a successful description such as “The Three Little Pigs is about three pig brothers who all build different kinds of houses. A wolf comes along and tries to eat them all up by blowing their houses down.” This is not a complete retelling, and you want to steer students away from that. Repeat this process with at least three stories the students have already read or are familiar with.
- Explain to your students that telling what the story is mainly about is called identifying the main idea. This is an important skill to master, because identifying the main idea is a big part of being a skillful and successful reader.
- Return to one of the previous examples discussed, such as The Three Little Pigs. Write the title on the board or chart paper and write the main idea underneath. Ask the students how they knew the main idea of the story was that it was about “ Three pig brothers who all build different kinds of houses. A wolf comes along and tries to eat them all up by blowing their houses down.” Ask “What happened in the story to let you know this was the main idea?” Hopefully your students will give specific details, such as “Three brothers built houses of brick, straw, and sticks.” “The wolf went to the first house and blew down the straw house.” Write down each relevant detail under the main idea.
Common Core Standards: CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.1.2, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.2.2, CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.2
Class Sessions (approx. 30 minutes): 3-4 class sessions, depending on the ability level of students and amount of time allowed for student discussion, explanation, clarification, review, etc.
Want more reading resources? Check out our other Reading Lesson Plans!