read alouds

Introducing...Main Idea!!

Teaching main idea to students can be one of the most challenging things to teach in my opinion... when it comes to teaching it with fiction text anyway! Last year, I taught Main Idea in a very unorganized way to be completely honest (joys of a first year, inexperienced teacher).
When deciding how to teach it this year I decided to break it down a bit more and really focus on HOW we get the main idea. My students and I completed a mini-lesson on it today to prepare us for the rest of our Main Idea activities for the week!
First, we read this main idea poem and glued it into our readers notebook.
We discussed what "Main Idea" actually meant and they did pretty well with it! I got one little sweetie who said, "It's the character in the story." :) That's why we talk about it before I teach it so I can fix any misconceptions while were discussing the topic!
Then, we read this 'paragraph' that I whipped up real quick this morning.
The kids went trick-or-treating last night.
 (Yes, late--their first Halloween was canceled because of yucky weather=Joys of Ohio)
We talked about comprehending the paragraph first and how when we understand what we read we make pictures & movies in our minds. We read each sentence, closed our eyes and told a partner what our picture looked like in our heads.
Then, I sent the students back to their seats, I read them the paragraph one more time, shut off the lights and asked them to draw the movie that they made in their head!
Here is what one little kiddo came up with!
I love how she included all of the details from the paragraph!
Love it when we get to visualize!
Then, the kids came back to the rug with their pictures and we pulled details from the paragraph and their 'movies' that they made in their heads. We wrote down all of the details in this little bubble and then I asked the students what we were talking about and referring to the entire time!
Do you know what they said----TRICK-OR-TREAT!
Then I said, "So, what is the main idea of the paragraph?!"
And they said......"The main idea is trick-or-treating!"
I love this intro to main idea because it was so simple but yet so purposeful at the same time.
--Yes, I use Cara's people on my anchor charts--I Luuhhhvee Them!
Tomorrow we are reading 'Biscuit' and determining the main idea of the story & then retelling the events--many activities are inspired by Amy Lemons here!
Stay tuned because I also have a fun writing lesson we are in the middle of too with no one other than...BISCUIT!


1 comment

  1. First off I LOVE your new blog design!! I'm working on mine hehe. Anywho that was a very cute lesson you did on main idea! P.S. I only got one phone call back and it was for substituting. So setting up time and schedule for the interview for that. Anything is good to get my foot in the door. Thanks so much for your email response! =D