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Main Idea and Details

Reading CCSS RI.3.2 Determine the main idea of a text: recount the key details and explain how
they support the main idea.
Speaking and Listening CCSS.SL.3.1.D Explain their own ideas and understanding in light of the
Writing CCSS.W.3.1.B Provide reasons that support the opinion.

Main Idea and Details

Lesson Topic:
Determining the main idea and details from an Informational Text Coasting to California
Historical Non-Fiction, Chinese Immigration


Students will be able to determine the main idea from the text, and find key details to support the
main idea.
Students will complete a main idea/key details graphic organizer, writing complete sentences and
building the graphic organizer (foldable).
Class will discuss the main idea/key details of an example paragraph, then follow up with a
discussion of the main idea and details of the informational text at the end of the lesson.

Learning Strategies:
Direct instruction How to build foldable
Whole class: Example paragraph, how to find main ideas and key details
Independent practice: Students will build a foldable and determine the main idea and key details of
Coasting to CA


Small groups
Leveled groups of three. Leveled ahead of time, based on reading level (mixing low students
with medium to high, and medium with high students).
Groups will have three parts, a record keeper who writes example sentences during the
reading, a monitor, who tells students when it is there turn to read and makes sure that
everyone is heard from, and a speaker, who shares the groups examples. Roles may be
assigned depending on group.
Split up the text for students who are struggling with grade level text reading. Give this
group only a section of the whole reading to determine main idea and details from, and have
them practice reading the rest of the story, if finished.
Teacher will read aloud chorally with group of really low readers.

Key Vocabulary:

Concepts: Main idea, Key detail, Supporting information

Culture, traditional, established, immigrants, communities

Basal reader
Foldable (graphic organizer) worksheet

Some students in class may be from immigrant families, and may find something to relate to in the
text, or discussion.
Students get to work in a small group.
Students will get to build a manipulative project to keep

Whole class example paragraph looking for main ideas/key details. Discuss and highlight main idea
and details in example paragraph. Point out a bad example, something that is not a main idea, and
have students try to explain why it is not a main idea.
Demonstrate how to build foldable

1. Reading example paragraph, whole class discussion.
Students will read aloud, chorally, the example paragraph.
Class will discuss what the main ideas and three details will be.
Teacher will ask for an example of a non-key detail. Answers will vary
2. Reading informational text, looking for main idea and details
Students will read in a group of three
Students will look for main idea, and three key details, copying them down on a piece of
Students will discuss in their groups what they believe to be the main idea and key details of
the story
3. Building foldable
Students will write down their answers, in complete sentences, on the foldable worksheet
Cut out pieces and construct main idea and details table
4. Closing Discussion
What did you find to be the main idea? Teacher asks each group of students to share.
What did you find to be the three key details

Students will build upon their listening and speaking skills through the discussion. They will build
upon writing skills by writing complete sentences describing the main idea, and three key details.
Finally students will develop reading skills by reading through an informational text, looking for
specific parts of the text. They will be able to read aloud their answers in the discussion, allowing
them to practice oral reading.
I will review the complete sentences on the students foldable, to assess whether or not the student
was able to determine the main idea and key details to support, as part of the summative
An observational checklist will be used as formative assessment, during the independent tasks as
well as discussions.