Writing Main Idea

Brittany Zae

This lesson is designed to help student’s organization and focus their grade appropriate writing.

Grade Level: 2 - 4th

Subject: English/Language Arts

Length of Time: About 45 Minutes

Common Core Alignment

CCSS:ELA-LITERACY.W.3.2.A - Introduce a topic and group related information together; include illustrations when useful to aiding comprehension.

Objectives & Outcomes

Students will be able to create a single paragraph by developing a topic sentence and simple supporting facts and details.

Materials Needed

  • Children's magazines like Scholastic
  • Chart paper


Opening to Lesson

The teacher will read a short passage. Next, the teacher will ask for volunteers to share with the class what they think the passage was about, while writing the main ideas on the board.

Body of Lesson

Direct Teaching

The teacher will review the main ideas summarized on the board. The teacher will ask the students if these are copied from the passage or if they are their own words. The teacher will highlight the difference between identifying the main idea and supporting details, as they did yesterday, and summarizing the expository text in their own words, based on these ideas identified. The teacher will allow for students to ask questions and then explain to the class that they will be summarizing main ideas and supporting details today.

Independent Practice

The teacher will create cooperative groups, different from the previous day, and provide the students with an article from a children’s magazine. The teacher will ask the students to use the main ideas chart provided to write the main idea and supporting details on their paper. The teacher will ask the group to discuss the article and write a summary of the expository text on a large sheet of poster paper provided, using the main idea and supporting details.


The teacher will choose one group at a time to present their summary and poster to the class. After each group presents the text’s main idea and supporting details in their own words. The teacher will close by explaining the importance of this unit, “It is important to identify the main idea and supporting details because: it will help you understand the most important information in an expository text and other types of passages. It will also help you to take tests and even help you to support your own ideas when writing on your own.”

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Assessment & Evaluation

Through guided questions, close monitoring and informal observation; the teacher will be able to assess student’s ability and understanding of the subject being introduced. Through individually assessing during independent practice and reviewing during guided practice the teacher will be able to evaluate students.

Modification & Differentiation

Students who struggle can work with an elbow partner. Often times, the collaboration process helps children comprehend concepts.

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