Finding the Main Idea Lesson Plan

The following lesson plan is an attempt to utilize one of the comprehension strategies mentioned in the book. The specific comprehension strategy is that of “Comprehending the Main Idea.”

Title: The Main Idea

Materials: Pre-selected books and resources, samples of short written works of appropriate reading level.

� Students will understand and utilize several strategies in order to comprehend
the Main Idea of the story.

� Students will comprehend and restate the main idea of several passages and stories.

Step One:

âÂ?¢ The teacher will introduce the strategy of comprehending the Main Idea of the story. The teacher may read a short paragraph and ask students, “What is the basic point in this story? What is the author’s goal?”

âÂ?¢ The teacher will explain that the Main Idea is the most important point in a story/written work. It answers the question of “What is this paragraph about?”

� The teacher will provide several examples of Main Ideas.

Step Two:

� The teacher will model the process of identifying and restating the Main Idea of a passage.

� The teacher will point out that students may want to use the heading, title, or first sentence to construct a hypothesis, or theory about what the Main Idea of the passage is.

� The teacher will model such a hypothesis, and then model how to check to see if his/her hypothesis is correct.

� The teacher will model this strategy of formulating and checking a hypothesis with several types of written work.

Step Three:

� The students will have an opportunity to practice the hypothesis strategy on their own.

� The teacher will distribute a reading passage of appropriate reading level to each student and have the students formulate a hypothesis based on the title, graphics, first sentence, and other contextual cues.

� After students formulate a hypothesis, the class will read the entire passage as a group.

� Students will check and correct their hypothesis.

� Teacher will ask students to volunteer their hypothesis and ask the class if the hypothesis was correct.

� Teacher will make sure the students understand the Main Idea of the passage.

Step Four:

� Allow students to practice independently on various reading selections. Make sure reading selections are appropriate and match the reading level of the students.

� Ask the students what they think the usefulness of the Main Idea strategy is.

� Point out to the students that being able to identify the Main Idea is a great strategy to use for pre-reading. This strategy will help them to know more about what they are reading and whether or not it is something they want to read.

Step Five:

� Check to make sure students understand how to identify the Main Idea of the passage.

� Re-teach the concept of comprehending the Main Idea and its usefulness if necessary.

Extension Activity:
Have students write their own mini-stories about something they like to do. Make sure the students title their activity and use a topic sentence as their first sentence. Have the students exchange their papers and formulate a hypothesis of what the Main Idea of the story will be. Allow students to read each others papers and check to see if their hypothesis was correct.

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