Finding the Main Idea


ELAR-Grade-7 Non-fiction Texts Finding the Main Idea
Students explore what main ideas and supporting details are and how to find them. They read several passages and identify and evaluate details to identify key ideas. Then, they distinguish between explicit and implicit meaning and make inferences about implicit meanings of text. Finally, they research an additional fact to add to one of the supporting details for the article read in the experience.

This learning experience is designed for device-enabled classrooms. The teacher guides the lesson, and students use embedded resources, social media skills, and critical thinking skills to actively participate. To get access to a free version of the complete lesson, sign up for an exploros account.

1:1 Devices
Teacher Pack

The Pack contains associated resources for the learning experience, typically in the form of articles and videos. There is a teacher Pack (with only teacher information) and a student Pack (which contains only student information). As a teacher, you can toggle between both to see everything.

Here are the teacher pack items for Finding the Main Idea:

Preview - Scene 1
Exploros Learnign Experience Scene Navigation


Engage


Overview

In this experience, students explore what main ideas and supporting details are and how to find them. They read several passages and identify and evaluate details to identify key ideas. Then, they distinguish between explicit and implicit meaning and make inferences about implicit meanings of text. Finally, they research an additional fact to add to one of the supporting details for the article read in the experience.

Objectives

  • Identify the main idea of a text.
  • Identify the supporting details that contribute to the main idea.
  • Identify and analyze explicit and implicit meanings of text.

Duration

One class period. You may choose to have the students read the article at home before beginning the experience.

Vocabulary Words in the Article

  • expedition: journey undertaken by a group with a specific purpose, such as exploration
  • Louisiana Purchase: 828,000 square miles of land encompassing 15 current states and two Canadian provinces, purchased by the U.S. from France in 1803
  • interpreter: someone who translates speech
  • fictionalize: make up an imagined version of a story
  • diplomat: someone who is sensitive and effective in dealing with people
  • encounter: meet
  • Continental Divide: an imaginary line running along the Rocky Mountains


Sometimes you might find yourself in a conversation with someone who just keeps talking. On and on they go with lots of various details and ideas. You may have even gotten irritated and interrupted, saying, “Okay, but can you get to your point?!”

Getting to the point—the main idea—of what is being said or read is an important skill. In this experience, you’ll learn more about how to find and analyze the main idea.

Objectives

  • Identify the main idea of a text.
  • Identify the supporting details that contribute to the main idea.
  • Identify and analyze explicit and implicit meanings of text.


U.S. Dollar Coin with Sacajawea on the heads side

What coins do you see lying around your house—or even have in your wallet or pocket?


Write a word or phrase describing the coins you have. To post more than one, separate them with commas, like this: spoon, fork

Post your answer

There’s a pretty good chance that you don’t have any dollar coins. Do you know why?


Write several ideas you have about why you have not seen many dollar coins.



You’ll learn more about dollar coins—as well as main ideas and details—in the next scene.


When everyone is ready to continue, unlock the next scene.

End of Preview
The Complete List of Learning Experiences in Non-fiction Texts Unit.
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