Main Idea {Freebie}

I was excited to teach in a third grade classroom yesterday!  Our third grade teachers started mClass assessments (state intuitive for reading, online DIBELS and RR) today, and this is their first year doing this.  

(Side note: No idea why, but third grade teachers were not trained on mClass in my district until last month.)

Our teachers have to complete the assessments on all their children by the end of the month and with a holiday a few workdays, time is of the essence.  I told my third grade team to sign up for me to come in and teach so they can focus on mClass.  This will also help them if they have any questions or concerns I'm right there in the room with them.  

So today one of my new teachers signed up for the last hour of the day and I prepared a Main Idea review activity for the class.  I based the lesson off of one of my favorites Main Idea Lessons from last year in 4th grade.  I made a few adjustments to meet the needs of third graders and this particular class.

First, we reviewed what "Main Idea" meant and how we can identify, along with our graphic organizer.  I created the template below, which you can grab for FREE, to use with sticky notes. They were excited to use the colored sticky notes for this activity!

I then created teams of four students and had them read the informational text together. I didn't assign "parts" yet because I wanted them to focus on the whole passage first.  I then provided each student with a specific colored sticky note.  Each color was assigned to a specific section of the text.
Our map had space for three key details, but our text had four sections so we used four different sticky notes.  I wanted to ensure ALL students were responsible for one component of the team assignment.

Students then reread their assigned section and wrote down the key detail/main idea on their colored sticky note.  I encouraged students to help their teammates who were "stuck" on finding their key detail/main idea.

Once teams had placed their "Key Details" to their graphic organizer (the blue and green had to share a box) I provided them a larger sticky note to write down the main idea of the entire text.

Once all teams were finished we went over their main ideas.  This was great because two teams wrote "Blizzards and Snow" and two teams wrote "Blizzards and Snow can be dangerous".  We discussed/reviewed the difference between a topic (blizzard and snow) and the main idea (blizzards and snow can be dangerous).

1 comment

  1. Isn't it funny how kids think Post-It Notes are so fun?!? I can pull out any ole lesson and add post-it notes...voila! instant success :)

    I love the template - thanks for sharing! My 5th graders can always use some extra practice identifying main idea and supporting details.. It's a tough skill, but definitely an important one they'll need in middle school.

    Happy Almost Friday!!!
    Joy in the Journey


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