Tricks and Treats from Teach Two Reach

Hellloooo fall! The best season of the year.. :) I'm here today to share with you some tricks that have worked in my classroom and a sweet little treat!

Main Idea and Details

I think teaching about main idea and details is right up there on the list of tough comprehension concepts to teach little ones - right alongside plot. For young kiddos like first and second graders, it's difficult for them to grasp their head around what the main idea is. 

I like to start off by having them pretend they are detectives. We learn that the main idea is WHAT THE WHOLEEEE STORY IS ABOUT. The details have to PROVE that main idea. 

I show them the following anchor chart. We imagine that the main idea is in the form of the cloud. It is the biggest thing and what the story is mostly about. The raindrops that come out of it are the details. They come out of the cloud, that means, whatever they tell me the details of a story are, must PROVE or tell more about the main idea. It can't be some random raindrop from another cloud. 

Next, we practice this concept with short paragraphs. I show them a paragraph with the topic sentence being the main idea, and then some detail sentences. 3 of them deal with the topic and one doesn't. We do whole model lessons about which one is a random raindrop and which ones are the actual raindrops coming from the main idea cloud.

Here in this picture, students practiced underlining the main idea sentence in red, details in green, and crossing out the random detail.

We always tie the comprehension skill into the basal story for the week. This week we read a short non fiction text on astronauts in space. Sometimes, non fiction can be easier to teach main idea because the details are pretty straight forward. 

We worked together filling in the cloud and details organizer to go along with this topic. 

Once they were able to provide me with the main idea and three details they read about astronauts in space, they got to create their Main Idea hat. And this is where the TREATS part comes in for you. 

I gave students a boy or 
 Main Idea Star template. They also got four rectangles - one for the title and main idea of the story, and three rectangles for three different details and pictures. 

Then I cut long construction paper to the approximate size of the kids' heads. Students had to complete this graphic organizer dealing with the story of the week. Then they glued the boy or girl at the beginning of the construction paper slip, followed by the main idea and the three details. I stapled the hat together at the end. 

You can pick up the template for this HERE or by clicking on the  picture.

BUT THERE'S ONE MORE TREAT FOR YOU. You can enter the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win this Teacher {Heart} Full t-shirt. Check it out here in my Etsy store. It's a super comfy relaxed fit ladies' tee and the heart is in this beautiful glitter that is so much prettier in real life than in the picture!

Thanks for visiting! Good luck in the contest.. ;) 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

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