Thursday, October 6, 2011

Introducing Main Idea

 We did main idea this week in our Treasures reading series. This isn't the first time it came up in our series but now that I have Daily 5 running smoothly I was able to devote more time in teaching it. To introduce main idea I use an idea I got from Proteacher. I tell the kids about a teacher at my school who talks and talks and talks anytime she tells me something. So I have to tell her "Get to the point! What's the main idea?" The kids always respond by asking me who the teacher is and beg for me to tell them. (Which of course I don't.) This really gets their attention and it's a great way to start my lesson. After my intro, I did a chart with them using our most recent read aloud: Magic Tree House -Dinosaurs Before Dark. I color coded the title so that main and mostly would stand out with the same color since these are both words used in main idea questions. Then we wrote the details of the story on the fingers. I had them talk with their table parnters and discuss what the main idea was and we added it to the palm of the hand.

The next day we read our story for the week that matches the skill. After reading it, I had the kids work in groups to fill in their own individual hands with the details and main idea. They did a great job at figuring out the main idea. I try to tell them to think of a way to tell a friend what the story is about in one sentence. This usually helps them narrow down what would probably be a summary instead of a main idea. They glued the hands into their reader's notebooks.