Main Idea and Reading Groups

This week our comprehension skill is finding the main idea and details.  I've said this several times, but I really like to start main idea using biographies.  It helps us dive into a new type of text and the main idea is normally fairly simple to identify.  We have been starting our lesson with a short biography that I read aloud, and we identify the main idea/details together.  Then, my students break out into their reading groups.  Each group has a biography (at their level) and a Main Idea Mini-Book.
 My school has a wonderful literacy library with leveled readers, and thankfully there are tons of biographies!  Having a resource like this helps out a TON!
 My students are working in groups to read their books while also filling out their mini-booklet.  I find that having something for them to complete while in reading groups helps them to stay on task a little better.  We stay in groups for about 20 minutes a day... any longer and I have students crawling all over my room ;)  I mainly work with my struggling readers, but I also facilitate the rest of the groups.
 In response to a biography we read as a class, my students made these main idea trees with their partners.  I do this every year because it's a simple way to display what they are learning.  

 Do you have any fun ideas for teaching main idea?  I'd love to hear below!


Courtney B said...

Love your main idea idea! I like to use their handprints with the main idea on the palm and the details on the fingers. I think main idea can be so boring so anything to jazz it up is good.

Ashley Smith ~ The Primary Source said...

Great ideas! I really like the idea of using biographies to introduce main idea.

Positively Learning said...

I'm pulling a 3rd grade reading intervention group (I'm a 1st grade teacher!) and always looking for ideas! Biographies for main idea - thank you :)

kathy sullivan said...

Can I ask what you do with your struggling readers during reading groups? I run out of ideas.

Amy Moser said...

Love the main idea trees!!! Love all of your goodies!!! Where can I get or click to get the main idea trees and the main idea booklet? Amy Moser