Sunday, September 13, 2015

What’s The Main Idea? {FREEBIE}

Teaching main idea and details is always a difficult thing to do.  This year, we moved our main idea framework up to teach it earlier in the year so that our kiddos had plenty of time throughout the rest of the year to practice.  We were looking for an engaging way to introduce this difficult concept that would help our students understand it more deeply.  We wanted to show them that to find the main idea, you need to connect the supporting details.  You need to figure out what the details have in common, what they are trying to tell you. 
To introduce this difficult skill this week we used Main Idea Bags.  This idea has been around for a while in lots of different formats.  We wanted to make it as hands on as possible for our kiddos and we wanted to make the response sheet that we were going to use match the vocabulary and questioning they would see again on their district framework assessment.
I filled 5 brown paper lunch sacks with items.  Each bag had a main idea and all of the items in each bag helped support that idea.  I pulled each item out in a specific order because I wanted the first detail or two to be details that could have a few different possibilities for main idea.  The last detail or two were details that strongly supported the one main idea. 
The bags were a HUGE hit!  In fact, they loved them so much that several kiddos wanted to take a paper sack home and make their own Main Idea Bag to present to the class.  So, I quickly typed up a letter explaining to parents what we were doing and sent them home with those who were interested. 
The next day several kiddos brought their bags back and presented them to the class.  I could not believe what a great job they did, I was so impressed!

I know that I am going to have more bags coming in this week because after the first round of presentations more kiddos asked for bags of their own.  Some of my students are on their second or third bag!  I love that they are reinforcing their learning at home in such an engaging and creative way and we get lots of practice throughout the week as the bags come in!
You can grab the recording sheet and parent letter for FREE by clicking the picture below!  I also included some ideas to get you started!
Main Idea Bag Product Pic
If you use it in your room I would love to see the ideas your kiddos come up with.  Post the pics on Insta and tag me @theblessedteacher so I can see!


  1. I LOVE this idea and can't wait to share it with my coteacher so that way she can use it!! Thank you for sharing such a great resource to use too!!

    Mrs. 3rd Grade 

  2. Thank you so much Jennifer! My kiddos had a hard time with main idea/supporting details last week, so this will be great! They will be so engaged during my observation! :)

  3. Jennifer, I can't wait to use this fabulous idea!! I really think it will be great to go along with my National Board video.

  4. We just got our son's progress report (2nd grade) and I think he's like mama, and is a visual learner. I'm can't wait to try this and see how it reflects on his next progress report!