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Main Idea Worksheets

Many students have difficulties identifying main ideas in nonfiction texts.  In order to understand and express the main idea of a passage, the reader must not only comprehend the text but also make connections within the content and find overarching ideas. To further complicate the process, the reader may also have to recognize and disregard nonessential information.  So while this skill may come simply and naturally to good readers, it is actually a two or three step process and struggling readers may trip up on any one of those steps.  If your students need more practice identifying the main idea in a variety of texts, look no further: these main idea worksheets and resources will give your students practice identifying main ideas.

Main Idea Worksheet 1 – Students read seven original nonfiction passages and summarize the main idea of each passage.  Also, students must think of a title for each passage that relates to the main idea of the text. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 6-10
Main Idea Worksheet 1 RTF
Main Idea Worksheet 1 PDF
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Answer Key
Main Idea Practice 1 | Ereading Worksheet


Main Idea Worksheet 2 – Six more original nonfiction passages for your students to summarize.  Students read the passages, disregard nonessential information,  express the main idea, and think of a title for each passage related to the main idea. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 7-11
Main Idea Worksheet 2 RTF
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Answer Key
Main Idea Practice 2 | Ereading Worksheet

Main Idea Worksheet 3 – Students practice identifying main ideas while reading exciting passages about robots and robotic technologies. Featuring six robot themed passages. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 6-10
Main Idea Worksheet 3 RTF
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Answer Key

Main Idea Worksheet 4 – Students read seven passages about money and systems of exchange. They summarize each paragraph, state the main idea, and think of an appropriate title for the passage. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 5-9
Main Idea Worksheet 4 RTF
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Main Idea Worksheet 5 – Learn about some of the greatest scientists in human history while reviewing main idea. Read the passages, identify the main idea, and create appropriate titles for each passage. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 7-11
Main Idea Worksheet 5 RTF
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Valentine’s Day Main Idea and Text Structure Review Worksheet – Your students will LOVE working through these six passages, expressing the main idea of each, titling them, and visually representing the text using graphic organizers. Suggested reading level for this text: Grade 6-10
Main Idea and Text Structure Review Valentine’s Day Worksheet RTF
Main Idea and Text Structure Review Valentine’s Day Worksheet PDF
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Main Idea Lesson – An animated PowerPoint slideshow explaining what main idea is and how one may go about identifying it.  This concise presentation includes five practice problems after the lesson.
Main Idea Lesson PowerPoint

Common Core State Standards Related to Main Idea

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.2 – Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.

Expand to View All Common Core State Standards Related to Main Idea
ELA Standards: Informational Text

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.2 – Identify the main topic and retell key details of a text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.6 – Identify the main purpose of a text, including what the author wants to answer, explain, or describe.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.2 – Determine the main idea of a text; recount the key details and explain how they support the main idea.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.2 – Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.5.2 – Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.6.2 – Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.2 – Determine two or more central ideas in a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.2 – Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.2 – Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.2 – Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to provide a complex analysis; provide an objective summary of the text.

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Common Core Lesson and Unit Plans
Understanding Common Core State Standards

 

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99 Comments

  1. suzana

     /  March 14, 2017

    I simply love these materials! My students have learned a lot with them. Thanks a million for this valuable work!!suzana

    Reply
  2. Chris

     /  March 14, 2017

    this is the best… only this website can help me with this so special thanks to you and your website its the BEST thx for creating and again this is very helpful. 😀 😉

    Reply
  3. Christina

     /  February 17, 2017

    Thank you for making an educator’s life a little easier I love going to your website because it truly is a great resource to pull from and it shows you put your time into thinking about each worksheet. I also like that you provide a variety of different reading skills that are required for us to teach. The more practice kids have the better!

    Reply
  4. Mu Tingting

     /  December 3, 2016

    So great. This site helps me a lot. Thank you!!!

    Reply
  5. Soha Ismail Mohamed Zidan

     /  November 10, 2016

    This is a super webpage. I appreciate all the effort that has been put in compiling all this excellent work.

    Reply
  6. alsan divinagracia

     /  August 15, 2016

    Very useful instructional materials. Thanks for making my work lighter, and more interesting.

    Reply
  7. Angel Wong

     /  April 8, 2016

    Fantastic material!!!!

    Comprehensive, concise and practical.

    It reflects you are experienced educators in comparison to the many theoretical one can meet today.

    Reply
  8. Patty

     /  April 8, 2016

    Thank you for providing these resources!

    Reply
  9. Swamy

     /  December 30, 2015

    Wow! I really like this website so much that immediately after visiting I forwarded this website link to all my 30-40 friends!
    We find many good free websites for maths but for english no….
    For English grammar, I was searching for many days and lastly I found this amazing site that too free.
    Many many thanks to you Mr.Morton.

    Reply
  10. mohammed

     /  November 29, 2015

    it is good information.

    Reply
  11. Kat

     /  October 26, 2015

    Thank you bunches for making an awesome website full of great reading skills activities! As a new Reading teacher, this has saved me a lot of time. This will give my Reading students the practice they need.

    Reply
  12. Jill Alvarado

     /  September 28, 2015

    I teach GED classes and these worksheets are so helpful in teaching main idea and supporting details. Any chance that you would make more? I love that they are rigorous and appropriate for adult learners. (i.e. not adorned with kiddo art.)

    Reply
    • Developing this site is one of my lifelong missions. Surely I will add more of these activities and ones like these, so long as I am blessed with the ability to do so. Thank you for visiting and providing feedback. Best wishes!

      Reply
      • Love the site. It is so user friendly. The resources really are free. What a pleasant surprise to know that no one is going to try to offer me resources and then block me from using them. Thank you!

        Reply

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