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Main Idea Activity

This highly engaging main idea activity has been a favorite in my classroom for many years. Now, I'm bringing it to you in a low-prep, ready to use format!

In this main idea activity, students are given an untitled article. They must read the article and determine the main idea to write an appropriate and interesting title for each passage. Once they've written their own title, they open the paper and read the “real” title to see how close they were! Four different recording sheet options require students to consider why the author titled it the way they did, what the actual main idea is, details that support the main idea and more.

There are four passages in each set that focus on the same topic. Once students have determined a title for each individual passage, they write one large heading for all four cards on the same main topic. There are EIGHT sets total, for a total of 32 passages.

Included in this main idea activity:

  • 32 nonfiction passages on the following 8 main topics:
    • Cheetahs
    • Costa Rica
    • New York City
    • Ice Cream
    • Olympics
    • Solar System
    • Hot Air Balloons
    • Paper

  • Four Recording Sheet Options
  • Two Word Collector Pages
  • GOOGLE SLIDES Interactive option INCLUDED

Assembly is easy! Simply print double-sided, cut each page down the middle, and fold. Although the possibilities for using this resource are endless, I recommend creating eight different centers (one for each topic) and having students work through each topic in pairs or as a group.

You can also use these as individual task cards to determine the main idea.

Please view the preview for more information and pictures.

You can use these for grades 3-5, though I recommend completing them together for 3rd grade!

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