Lesson plan

Main Ideas and Details

Take your students to a magical place by having them read stories such as "The Ugly Duckling" and "Rumpelstiltskin." They can read these magical stories and figure out the main idea and details in them!
EL Adjustments
GradeSubjectView aligned standards

Think of a fun story or article! Does it have a main idea? How many details can you remember? In this reading and writing lesson, invite your students to analyze the main idea and details in different stories and texts. The Main Ideas and Details lesson pairs well with the first-grade reading curriculum as it explores characters, setting, and events in fiction texts. It also helps provide students with fiction comprehension skills and practise with retelling fiction stories.

Students will be able to identify and write the main ideas and details of a text.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments
(5 minutes)
Find the Main IdeaRumpelstiltskinStone SoupThe Ugly DucklingWhat
  • Tell your students that they will be focusing on the main idea and details of stories today.
  • Ask your students if they know what those words mean.
(15 minutes)
  • Explain to your students that a Main ideaIs what a story or article is mostly about.
  • Explain to your students that DetailsAre facts and descriptions that will help them understand the main idea.
  • Read the Stone Soup worksheet out loud to your class.
  • Ask your students what they think the main idea is. Write it on the board. Explain to your students that the main idea is not always stated in the text and that they have to come up with it after reading the story.
  • Ask your students to write three details that support the main idea.
(15 minutes)
  • Ask your students to work on the Find the Main Idea worksheet with a partner.
  • Go over the worksheet with your students.
(25 minutes)
  • Instruct your students to read the The Ugly Duckling worksheet.
  • Ask your students to write down the main idea of the story. Ask your students to write three details that support the main idea they wrote.
  • Remind your students to write in full, complete sentences.
  • Go over the main ideas and details that your students wrote as a class. Explain why a certain main idea or detail is correct or incorrect.

Enrichment:Instruct your students to pick a short nonfiction book from the class library. Ask your students to read it and identify the main idea. Ask your students to also write three details that support the main idea. Have students get on the computer and find three additional details that support the main idea.

Support:Pick a short nonfiction book, and ask your students what they think the book will be about. This will activate their prior knowledge. Write down what your students say on the board. Read the book out loud to your students. Ask your students what the book was mainly about. Instruct students to write the main idea, and have each student in the support group come up with a detail that supports the main idea. Discuss the details that each student wrote as a group and why it is a detail.

(10 minutes)

Direct students to complete the What's in a Story worksheet.

(25 minutes)
  • Read the Rumpelstiltskin worksheet out loud to your students.
  • Ask your students what the main idea and details are.
  • Pass out loose paper to each student.
  • Display the main idea and details on the board.
  • Instruct students to draw and colour the main idea and details.

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