Reading Strategy from a Guest Blogger!

I am so excited to welcome Amy from Ecclectic Education my first guest blogger. She has a great reading lesson to share with you, once you finish reading it be sure to go check out her blog - you'll be happy you did!

First of all, let me introduce myself! My name is Amy, and I am a Title 1 intervention teacher that works with grades K-5 in small groups. I work with students in both reading and math. This is my third year teaching and my first year blogging. Now on to the lesson!

Main idea is a very challenging concept for my students. The first time I ask them what they know about main idea, they almost always say "what the story is about." I suppose that is part of it, but they are missing the key word. Main idea is what the story is mostly about. The following is a lesson that I used with my third grade reading intervention group.

I begin most of my lessons with an anchor chart. We go over the anchor chart together, and then students glue a copy of the anchor chart into their reader's notebooks. This way students always have a copy to refer to. I find this helps my students become more independent and take ownership of the material. 

For finding main idea, we focused on what the story was mostly about. To help us figure this out, we looked at the title, the pictures, beginning and ending sentences, and words that were used repeatedly throughout the text.

As an introductory activity, we completed a main idea sorting activity. (Click on the image below for your own copy!)

I gave each student in the group a strip of paper with a sentence on it. Together all of the sentences made up a paragraph about a fictional brand of cereal named Munchy Crunchy. As a group, we had to identify which one of the strips of paper was the main idea for the entire paragraph and explain why. For this particular activity, the main idea is that Crunchy Munchy is a very popular cereal. All of the other sentences explain why Crunchy Munchy is popular. 

Next, I read aloud the book Gregory, the Terrible Eater. This book provides a very clear main idea about eating a balanced diet. 

After I read the story, we completed a summary graphic organizer that required us to identify the main idea and support that idea with details. First, we identified key words from the story. We used those key words, and the other strategies identified in the anchor chart, to help us identify the main idea. Then we filled out the supporting details in the remaining boxes. (Click on the image below for your own copy!)

Next, I had students read the nonfiction article Sweet Feet. (Click for a copy if you have an Ebsco host login.) This article is about how butterflies taste with their feet. The kids really love that and think it is hilarious. Once finished, we completed the summary graphic organizer for the article.

Since I only have thirty minutes with each of my intervention groups, I like to use a lot of short stories and articles. To find many of these articles I use Ranger Rick, Highlights, and an online database called Ebsco host. Many schools have an Ebsco host login, but if you do not, almost all public libraries have one. I would highly recommend checking the database out. It has a lot of amazing resources.

I hope you all take something useful away from this lesson and I owe a big, BIG thanks to AMC for letting me post on her blog today! Come check me out at Eclectic Educating!

1 comment

  1. I like how much repetition your students get with a topic. Finding key words is a great strategy.

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