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    teaching main idea
    By Susan/IN

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    I have used two ideas with various age levels that seem to help them understand how main idea and details go together. The first idea I have used forever - the idea of a main idea helping hand. I draw a diagram of a hand. The main idea goes on the palm. The topic sentece is written on the thumb. Four other details are written on the fingers. For the older students I have them draw the wrist and a "bracelet" which has a summary sentence on it.

    The second idea is similar but I just found it in a book recently and we used this at our literacy fair this past week. We made Kite Tales. The main idea was a kite cut from construction paper. Next you glue a piece of yarn on for the tail. We had the children then write 3 sentences and tape or glue the "ribbons" on the tail. You could easily make this into a learning center with the details and kites already provided and the students have to match details and main idea together.

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