How to Find Main Idea - FREE Resources for Instruction -

Teaching main idea to elementary students has never been a simple task!!  

In fact, finding main idea is one of those skills that teachers are constantly asking me for advice on how to teach.

With the level of text becoming more and more difficult… at every grade level… main idea continues to be a struggle for many students.

Here are some simple tools and anchor charts that will assist your students with:

  • understanding and finding main idea
  • locating topic
  • connecting details to the main idea

These freebies are great for introducing main idea, reinforcing topic, and for reading intervention / RTI groups.

FREEBIE: Vocabulary to help improve finding main idea, topic, and supporting details.
This sounds very simplistic, but make sure that your kiddos actually understand the vocabulary and language of main idea.

Many students don’t even understand what “main idea” means, so how could they ever find the main idea????

  • Topic:  One or two words about what the whole text is about
  • Main Idea:  The most important point or thought about the topic
  • Supporting Details:  Facts, examples, or details that support and help to describe the main idea
Tips for locating the topic of a text.

If you are introducing main idea, or working with students that are struggling with main idea and comprehension, start with finding the topic of the text.  Your RTI students will greatly benefit from starting with topic.

Here are some simple tips for locating the topic of a text:
  • The topic will be only one or two words
  • It will be the most simple and basic form
  • Ask yourself, “Who or what is the text about?”
  • The topic is usually repeated throughout the text
  • Here are some examples of topic: dogs, skateboard tricks, boats, our classroom, pizza
How to find the main idea. FREE anchor charts and resources.
Once your students understand how to find the topic of a text, move on to finding the main idea

Here are some very simple steps for how to find the main idea of a text:
Before you read:
  • Read the title.
  • What is the text about?
  • What is the topic?
During the reading:
  • Look for and carefully read the text features.
  • Is the text fiction… nonfiction… ????
  • Look for information, words, and pictures that are repeated throughout the text.
After you read:
  • Think about the most important point of the topic.
  • What details or examples back up and support the main idea?
 How to Find Main Idea - FREE Resources for Instruction -

If this freebie is a good fit for your students, please click on the graphics below to check out the main idea resources.  I have three new main idea kids in my TpT store, Teacher Karma.

Literacy center: More than Main Idea!
Literacy center: main idea and topic cards.
Picture the Main Idea: Literacy center and reading activities.
Best wishes!


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