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!
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 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!


Hi, I'm Amy

Hey, y’all! My name is Amy Lemons and I am passionate about providing students with both engaging and effective standards-based Math and ELA lessons.


Sample a day of Rooted in Reading with these lesson plans and activities for Reading Comprehension, Vocabulary, and Grammar!

5 Responses

  1. 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.

  2. 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