The following lesson plan is an attempt to utilize one of the comprehension strategies mentioned in the book. The specific comprehension strategy is that of “Comprehending the Main Idea.”
Title: The Main Idea
Materials: Pre-selected books and resources, samples of short written works of appropriate reading level.
• Students will understand and utilize several strategies in order to comprehend
the Main Idea of the story.
• Students will comprehend and restate the main idea of several passages and stories.
• The teacher will introduce the strategy of comprehending the Main Idea of the story. The teacher may read a short paragraph and ask students, “What is the basic point in this story? What is the author’s goal?”
• The teacher will explain that the Main Idea is the most important point in a story/written work. It answers the question of “What is this paragraph about?”
• The teacher will provide several examples of Main Ideas.
• The teacher will model the process of identifying and restating the Main Idea of a passage.
• The teacher will point out that students may want to use the heading, title, or first sentence to construct a hypothesis, or theory about what the Main Idea of the passage is.
• The teacher will model such a hypothesis, and then model how to check to see if his/her hypothesis is correct.
• The teacher will model this strategy of formulating and checking a hypothesis with several types of written work.
• The students will have an opportunity to practice the hypothesis strategy on their own.
• The teacher will distribute a reading passage of appropriate reading level to each student and have the students formulate a hypothesis based on the title, graphics, first sentence, and other contextual cues.
• After students formulate a hypothesis, the class will read the entire passage as a group.
• Students will check and correct their hypothesis.
• Teacher will ask students to volunteer their hypothesis and ask the class if the hypothesis was correct.
• Teacher will make sure the students understand the Main Idea of the passage.
• Allow students to practice independently on various reading selections. Make sure reading selections are appropriate and match the reading level of the students.
• Ask the students what they think the usefulness of the Main Idea strategy is.
• Point out to the students that being able to identify the Main Idea is a great strategy to use for pre-reading. This strategy will help them to know more about what they are reading and whether or not it is something they want to read.
• Check to make sure students understand how to identify the Main Idea of the passage.
• Re-teach the concept of comprehending the Main Idea and its usefulness if necessary.
Have students write their own mini-stories about something they like to do. Make sure the students title their activity and use a topic sentence as their first sentence. Have the students exchange their papers and formulate a hypothesis of what the Main Idea of the story will be. Allow students to read each others papers and check to see if their hypothesis was correct.