Here are the 5 Tips That Will Help you Teach Main idea and Detail {Freebie Included}

 Tip:  Teaching Main Idea and Detail strategies should be simple in upper elementary or middle school, right?  It will be if you grab this freebie!

You raced to make the copies this morning, students were given the assignment with clear instructions, and you are good. to. go.   

Students were cutting out a Main Idea and Detail product for their notebooks that included signal words.  

            You know, like:

    • For instance
    • Such as
    • For example
    • In addition to
And then we looked at some nonfiction passages and they contained NONE of those keywords!   Has that ever happened to you?

 
By the time students get into upper grades, they should have the skills in place to find the main idea down, right?  But they don't.  They often confuse the main idea with the topic of the passage.

So I created this (in both digital and pdf formats) that included the strategies students need to know, and lo and behold, connections started being made.  Might it also help you?

Rather than focusing on keywords, students look at the topic of the passage and then decide the main idea.  There are explanations in the packet and on the video to explain the differences between the two.

There's a Screencast video that walks students through those first steps as they read the first and then, the second passage.  You can have your students listen or if you want, you can teach your students directly yourself.
The third and fourth passages are read by students on their own and they have to check with you to make sure they've completed them correctly.  And of course, an answer key is provided for you to use as a guide.

All of this is FREE!  And in digital or pdf formats.  You just need to click on this link to get it.
As students were working through the first passage with me, I saw lots of confident hands raised, so I jumped ahead and asked about the main idea. {bad idea!}

S:  "Benedict Arnold!"

T:  "Nope, that's the topic.  The passage is about Benedict Arnold but what's the big idea of the passage?"

Ss:  "Ohhhhh...."



And that, my friends, is why we still need to teach this concept.  Once they have that, they are pretty quick to find many supporting details.

All of that is in this freebie.  Grab it - it's 18 pages of honest-to-goodness clear lessons and you can print it as a pdf or give your students the digital version, based on your classroom needs.


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