Second Grade Nest: Main Idea and Main Topic (Exploring ELA)

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Main Idea and Main Topic (Exploring ELA)



I'm back with another blog post in the Exploring ELA blog series. This blog post is going to give background knowledge and teaching ideas for the main idea and main topic standards for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade students.

Teaching Main Idea and Main Topic- Blog Post written to study the ELA standard that focuses on main idea/main topic and key details. Find hands on tips and activities to make teaching this informational standard easier.

Main topic and main idea can give students a very hard time. This may be a standard that you introduce in seclusion, but should be practiced weekly with nonfiction texts. So after teaching students how to identify main topic or main idea, you'll need to also teach key details to support it. Then they can practice that skill throughout the year.

Here is a breakdown of the Common Core standards 1st- 3rd grade.
Teaching Main Idea and Main Topic- Blog Post written to study the ELA standard that focuses on main idea/main topic and key details. Find hands on tips and activities to make teaching this informational standard easier.


In a nut shell: 
1st Grade simply requires students to identify the topic. 2nd grade is the same, but with harder level texts. 3rd grade is where it transitions from main topic to main idea. This requires more thought processes from the student, which is how CCSS functions. They add more difficult skill on the same standard through the elementary years.

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And here is where I can try to help you! Here are a few guidelines or tips for tacking this tricky standard.... Read below to get more details on each!
---Introducing Main Topic
--- Teaching It With and Without Texts
---Focus on Key Details
---(3rd Grade) Comparing Main Topic and Main Idea/Finding Both


1. Introducing Main Topic
For 1st and 2nd graders (and even 3rd, too), finding the main topic of a text is the first essential skill they will need for this standard thread.

Teaching Main Idea and Main Topic- Blog Post written to study the ELA standard that focuses on main idea/main topic and key details. Find hands on tips and activities to make teaching this informational standard easier.
(Source: Joyful Learning in KC)
This is a very easy activity that gives a very early glimpse at main idea and main topic. You can draw them up really quickly like this blogger did, or you can snag some pictures off Google if you were wanting to make them for informational texts, too. This would be great to show images of and have a Mix-Pair-Share activity with students to identify and compare main topics. 

Teaching Main Idea and Main Topic- Blog Post written to study the ELA standard that focuses on main idea/main topic and key details. Find hands on tips and activities to make teaching this informational standard easier.
(Source: Creative Colorful Classroom)
 Starting with a main topic anchor chart is a great idea. Having one anchor chart to refer to over and over again through your main topic/main idea lessons is very smart and convenient for kiddos. This blogger involved the students in their anchor chart making, which I love the idea of!

Teaching Main Idea and Main Topic- Blog Post written to study the ELA standard that focuses on main idea/main topic and key details. Find hands on tips and activities to make teaching this informational standard easier.
(Source: RI3.3 Mini Lesson)
This activity comes from a mini lesson from my ELA pack. This is a poster board or chart paper that you can do with your whole group. Split the page into four squares and have students write the main topic on a Post-It note. As you learn about key details, come back to this text and activity and add the key details on.




2. Teaching It With and Without Texts 
Students need many, many opportunities to get their hands on texts to practice finding the main topic. However, texts are not the only way they can practice this skill.

Teaching Main Idea and Main Topic- Blog Post written to study the ELA standard that focuses on main idea/main topic and key details. Find hands on tips and activities to make teaching this informational standard easier.
(Source: Unknown on Pinterest- if you know the owner, please contact me so I can credit them!)
I love this idea for decoding printable texts. It can be used when reading a nonfiction text and underlining the main idea and details. This can also be used when teaching informational writing, too. 

Teaching Main Idea and Main Topic- Blog Post written to study the ELA standard that focuses on main idea/main topic and key details. Find hands on tips and activities to make teaching this informational standard easier.
 (Source: Texts RI2.2, RI3.2)
Give the students many opportunities to read texts and answer questions about main topic or main idea. They will need to get their hands on real informational texts in book form to practice with, but they will also need a lot of opportunities to use text that they can write and mark all over. Underlining their texts and being able to mark their text at where they found their answers are very good practices for students to do. 

Teaching Main Idea and Main Topic- Blog Post written to study the ELA standard that focuses on main idea/main topic and key details. Find hands on tips and activities to make teaching this informational standard easier.Teaching Main Idea and Main Topic- Blog Post written to study the ELA standard that focuses on main idea/main topic and key details. Find hands on tips and activities to make teaching this informational standard easier.
(Source: Photograph Activity RI3.2 & Writing Activity RI1.2 and RI2.2)
Don't limit the kids to only learning about main topics with informational texts. Matching topics with photographs, partner talking, and personal writing are all ideas to practice main topic without using books or texts. Let them pretend to be the author. Depending on level of writing experience, have students either write one paragraph about a given topic, or have them write their own entire passage on the main topic.



3. Focus on Key Details 
Once students have found the ability to find the main topic (or main idea), they need to able to support that main topic or main idea with text evidence, or key details.

(Source: RI1.2, RI2.2, RI3.2)
Allow them to practice with passages, like I showed you in step 2, or nonfiction texts such as these National Geographic books. On the left, you will see a nonfiction text about books and a printable worksheet that focuses on main topic, key details, and text evidence. On the right, you will see an interactive notebook activity where students work independently to read about solar systems and planets, then fill out the three key details for the main topic.




4. Comparing Main Topic and Main Idea & Finding Both (3rd Grade)
In third, they begin their change from topic to idea. This requires a bit more skill from the students because they're not only finding a topic, they're now finding the argument or idea from the author.

Teaching Main Idea and Main Topic- Blog Post written to study the ELA standard that focuses on main idea/main topic and key details. Find hands on tips and activities to make teaching this informational standard easier.
 (Source: Whale-Come to 2nd Grade)
I love how this anchor chart incorporates topic and idea, which is where third graders are going to get confused. That big jump from identifying the main topic to identifying the main idea is tricky. This would be great to start the unit with and leave it up for students to refer back to as often as they need. 

Teaching Main Idea and Main Topic- Blog Post written to study the ELA standard that focuses on main idea/main topic and key details. Find hands on tips and activities to make teaching this informational standard easier.
(Source: Brain Pop Jr. YouTube)
This free video will help your third graders set up the difference between main topic and main idea. Stop the video throughout and have students turn and talk with partners to discuss their new knowledge. Refer back to the video throughout your unit, trying to trigger any knowledge they picked up from the video.

(Source: RI3.2)
Students will need multiple ways of practicing main topic vs. main idea because soon main topic will not be something they're asked to identify. It will eventually be phased out in the progression of this informational standard. Meaning once they've mastered the main topic skill and truly learned the difference between the two skills, they won't need to focus on it anymore.
And once they've mastered comparing the two, focus on constant main idea practice during the unit. And don't forget to incorporate main idea lessons throughout the year to cycle the skill and keep it fresh in their minds.


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Grab some resources to help you!
 Main Topic RI1.2    Main Topic RI2.2  Main Idea RI3.2
 First Grade
Second Grade
Third Grade

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And click here to find a list of similar blogs that help with the other CCSS ELA Standards.
http://www.firstgradenest.com/2016/02/exploring-ela-new-blog-series.html


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