Which Detail Does NOT Belong?
During our mini-lesson, we discussed how the details that we choose need to support our main idea. Many times students will just choose random facts from a story, passage, or paragraph. Here’s what I did to introduce supporting details. I created a PowerPoint that gave a main idea and three details. We read and discussed the main idea first. Then, we read one detail at a time. We asked ourselves: Does the detail support our main idea? How can I prove that? or How does it NOT support the main idea? All of the details were facts. All of the details had something to do with the topic. However, not all of the details were supporting the main idea.
Supporting Details Anchor Chart
Modeling is very important when it comes to identifying supporting details. We keep an anchor chart handy so that we can make sure that we are correctly identifying details that support our main idea. Modeling helps students develop good habits before setting them loose!
Main Idea Tables
After we discussed supporting details, the students used a grade-level passage to practice. We created Main Idea Tables to show how our details support the main idea just like the legs of a chair or table offer support. If they didn’t support, we would come tumbling down!
Students worked with their partner to identify the main idea and four supporting details. This really gave the students a great visual.
Let’s Taco ‘Bout the Main Idea
We didn’t get to this activity yet, but it’s one of my favorites. Main Idea Tacos help students see that you can’t have a taco without the shell, but it’s the fillings that add all the flavor. Students build their taco by identifying the main idea on the shell and the details on all of the toppings. We see how our details provide all that juicy information in a text!
Do you have any tips or tricks to teaching main idea? I’d love to hear them below!