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.
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
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.
- 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
- Read the title.
- What is the text about?
- What is the topic?
- 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.
- Think about the most important point of the topic.
- What details or examples back up and support the main idea?