Main Ideas What is a main idea? How do we find the main idea? What is the main idea? What the text is mainly about Big idea Overall topic of a story/piece of writing Author’s message/goal Mostly about, sums up, most likely, main theme, best tells, main purpose, another title; who, what, where, when, why, how Where is the main idea found? The main idea can be found ANYWHERE in a story. Title, Subheadings, First or Last Sentence, or a summary after you have read There is not one specific place to find the main idea. How can we find the main idea? Look for supporting details Summarize after every paragraph Look at cues and clues in the text such as title Pick out the most important and most commonly used details Supporting details: part of the text that support the main idea and make the text interesting Why do we find main ideas? Important skill to have to become a fluent and strong reader Helps us understand and break down the text Tells us what is most important Details versus Main Idea While one team bats, the other team fields. (detail) If the batter crosses home plate, a run is scored. (detail) Baseball is an exciting game played in the United States and other countries around the world. (main idea) The team with the most runs at the end of the game wins. (detail) For Example… At age 15, Christopher Columbus left home to work on trading ships sailing on the Mediterranean Sea. During these voyages, he improved his sailing skills. He learned how to navigate by studying the height of the North Star at night and the position of the sun at noon. He learned how to use a compass. By watching birds, fish, driftwood and the color of the water, Columbus could tell where he was. The sea had much to teach him. What is the main idea in the video? http://cnn.com/video/data/2.0/video/us/ 2011/10/17/fl-wplg-otter-learns-to- swim.wplg.html Do It Yourself! The Navajo Indians were a very interesting tribe to learn and study about. The things that interested me the most were their simple lifestyle. They had no electricity, running water, or indoor plumbing. Life couldn't get much simpler than this! Navajo Indians lived in houses called hogans. These houses were made of mud, wooden poles, and tree bark. Many Navajo today still live in hogans. Navajo Indians wore shoes called moccasins to protect their feet from the hot, desert ground and cactus. They were made from leather or rawhide. The Pueblo Indians taught the Navajo many skills. They taught them to plant crops, such as melon, corn, beans, and squash. This is why the Navajo were referred to as farmers, sheep herders, and laborers. Other skills of the Navajo are sand paintings, jewelry making, and rug weaving.
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