Main Idea Resources

The first section has activities to build a better understanding of main idea with your students. The second section has activities you can use as main idea centers. The final sections helps you integrate writing with your main idea instruction.

Main Idea: Building Understanding

Main Idea Topic and Details Cut and Paste #1
Students must sort words into groups based on similar topics. Students come up with a title for each group of words. FREE!

Main Idea Topic and Details Cut and Paste #2
Students must sort words into groups based on similar topics. Students come up with a title for each group of words.

Main Idea Topic and Details Cut and Paste #3
Students must sort words into groups based on similar topics. Students come up with a title for each group of words.

Main Idea Fill In Web
Students are given web graphic organizers partially filled in. Students must fill in the missing pieces.

Main Idea Thinking About Titles #1
Students read short paragraphs on similar topics and must match up the paragraphs to an appropriate title.

Main Idea Thinking About Titles #2
Students read short paragraphs on similar topics and must come up with appropriate titles for each paragraph.

Main Idea Thinking About Titles #3
Students read short paragraphs on similar topics and must come up with appropriate titles for each paragraph.

Main Idea Thinking About Titles #4
Students read short paragraphs on similar topics and must come up with appropriate titles for each paragraph.

Main Idea and Details Task Cards
24 task cards. Students read a paragraph. One of the sentences in the paragraph doesn’t support the main idea. Students must identify which sentence doesn’t belong.

Main Idea Graphic Organizer Cut and Paste #1
Students read a short reading passage about aquariums. They fill in a main idea graphic organizer about the reading passage by cutting and pasting.

Main Idea Graphic Organizer Cut and Paste #2
Students read a short reading passage about keeping chickens as pets. They fill in a main idea graphic organizer about the reading passage by cutting and pasting.

Main Idea Graphic Organizer Cut and Paste #3
Students read a short reading passage about Antarctica. They fill in a main idea graphic organizer about the reading passage by cutting and pasting.

Main Idea Graphic Organizer Cut and Paste #4
Students read a short reading passage about a student that doesn’t want to do his homework. They fill in a main idea graphic organizer about the reading passage by cutting and pasting.

Main Idea Graphic Organizer - Fill In
Students read a short reading passage about Earth and Mars. They fill in a main idea graphic organizer about the reading passage, identifying the main idea and 3 details.

Main Idea Graphic - Fill In #2
Students read a short reading passage about a girl with a pet. They fill in a main idea graphic organizer about the reading passage, identifying the main idea and 3 details.

Main Idea Graphic - Fill In #3
Students read a short reading passage about broccoli. They fill in a main idea graphic organizer about the reading passage, identifying the main idea and 3 details.

Main Idea Reading Passage and Graphic Organizer
Students read a longer (1 page) reading passage about wolverines. Then, students fill in a graphic organizer that has them identify the main idea and 3 details of each body paragraph in the reading passage.

Main Idea Slideshow
A slideshow you can share with students to practice different main idea skills together. FREE!

Main Idea Centers

Main Idea and Details Maze #1
Students are given a main idea statement and must shade in details that support this main idea to complete the maze. Then, students complete a recording sheet to explain their thinking. FREE!

Main Idea and Details Maze #2
Same as Maze #1, but different maze.

Main Idea and Details Maze #3
Same as Maze #1, but different maze.

Main Idea and Details Maze #4
Same as Maze #1, but different maze.
Main Idea and Details Maze #5
Same as Maze #1, but different maze.

Main Idea and Details Sort
Students must match up details with the appropriate main idea, then complete a recording sheet to explain their thinking. A little prep required.

Main Idea and Details Matching Game
Students play the matching game. They must match up paragraphs with the appropriate main idea. Students complete a recording sheet to explain their thinking. A little prep required.

Main Idea: Writing Integration

Main Idea Writing Based on Title #1
Students are given titles and must write on topic paragraphs based on the titles.

Main Idea Writing Based on Title #2
Students are given titles and must write on topic paragraphs based on the titles.

Main Idea Writing: Web #1
Students fill in a main idea web with the main idea given. Then, they write a short paragraph using the information from the web.

Main Idea Writing: Web #2
Students fill in a main idea web with the main idea given. Then, they write a short paragraph using the information from the web.

Main Idea Writing Web - Details Given #1
Students fill in a main idea web with the details given. Then, they must write a short paragraph using information from the web.

Main Idea Writing Web - Details Given #2
Students fill in a main idea web with the details given. Then, they must write a short paragraph using information from the web.

Main Idea Paragraph Writing: Topic Given
Students are given topic sentences and must write on-topic paragraphs.

Main Idea Writing Topic Sentences
Students read paragraphs that don’t have a topic sentence. They must add an appropriate topic sentence.

Main Idea Rewrite #1
Students read a paragraph where one detail doesn’t support the main idea of the paragraph. Students cross out the detail that doesn’t belong and rewrite it. FREE!

Main Idea Rewrite #2
Students read a paragraph where one detail doesn’t support the main idea of the paragraph. Students cross out the detail that doesn’t belong and rewrite it.

Main Idea Paragraph Writing: Main Idea Given #1
Students are given main idea statements. They must write a paragraph with the given main idea.

Main Idea Paragraph Writing: Main Idea Given #2
Students are given main idea statements. They must write a paragraph with the given main idea.