Main Idea and Supporting Details

Main idea is a difficult skill to teach. Many capable adults still struggle with finding the main idea of a text, differentiating between main idea and supporting details, and understanding when details from a text support or don't support the main idea.

Below are some ideas and activities to help you as you teach this difficult skill to your 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade students. There are ideas for centers, a free slideshow, strategies for helping students that are struggling with main idea and details, and more.

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Teaching Main Idea and supporting details so Students Actually Understand

Find ways to scaffold your main idea instruction so that students truly understand.  This blog post includes a couple of free main idea printables you can use with your class.

Free Main Idea Slideshow for 3rd grade, 4th grade, or 5th grade students.

A free main idea slideshow to use with you upper elementary students. Includes a variety of different ways to practice determining the main idea and details of a passage.

Main Idea Games and Center Ideas for Upper Elementary Students

3 main idea and details center ideas. These challenge your students to think more critically.

These free main idea worksheets will help you differentiate your lesson plans for 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students.

This free main idea resource includes 3 activities to help students practice main idea in several different ways.

These 36 questions will help your 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade students understand main idea and details better - based off of revised Bloom's taxonomy to promote critical thinking about main idea and supporting details

36 main idea and details questions based on the Revised Bloom's Taxonomy to help you encourage higher level thinking in your upper elementary students.

Integrate Technology into Your Main Idea Lesson Plan

A main idea lesson that integrates technology and provides students with a visual.

The activities above address the following common core standards for 3rd grade, 4th grade, and 5th grade students:

Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.

Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.

Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.

 If you like the activities but don't want all of the prep, check out my Main Idea Activities Bundle. It includes hands on activities, cut and paste activities, graphic organizers, task cards, main idea centers, writing integration activities, and more!

Main Idea and Details Activities Bundle - task cards, no prep activities, games and centers, and more