A Way to Analyze Paragraphs to Figure Out the Main Idea of a Nonfiction Text

Shrink up a section by asking pupils to write down the main idea for each of seven paragraphs. There is a space provided for each main idea. When students have completed this portion, they write down what they think to be the central idea of the passage as a whole. Use this with any informational text.

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CCSS: Designed
Pros

  • Encourages learners to pay attention to each paragraph in a text and then evaluate the set of ideas to come up with an overarching idea
  • This could also be used to help your class members move toward writing a summary
Cons

  • The sheet only allows for seven paragraphs; you can make extra copies, but it is not very efficient
  • Some may need additional scaffolding, especially with composing their final statement