Central Idea

Free lesson plans and resources to help your students identify topics, central ideas, and supporting details. Resources utilize short passages and focus on both stated and implied central ideas.

Whole Week Overview

Overview:

This week students will engage in deep dive into identifying topics, central ideas, supporting details in various short passages, as well as the difference between central ideas that are stated by the author versus implied.

Standards:

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.3.2/4.2/5.2

Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.

Resources:

  • Teacher Guide
  • Daily Powerpoints with Teacher Notes
  • Printable Passages, Notes, Activities, Warm Ups, and Exit Tickets
  • Short Standards-Focused Assessment

Day 1 - Introduction

Launch

Activate students’ prior knowledge by asking them to come up with their best definition for “Central Idea.”

Core Instruction

Using the guided notes and handouts, define central idea and introduce the central metaphor for the week: The Central Idea Sundae

Guided Practice

As a class, identify the topic of numerous photographs.

Independent Practice

Annotate the provided passages and begin identifying topics, central ideas, and whether those ideas are stated or implied.  Exit tickets and checks for understanding are built into the Powerpoint as well.

Day 2 - Whole Class Practice

Launch

Students will practice identifying possible topics and central ideas of an image. Whole class will discuss.

Core Instruction

Review the 3 essential ingredients of a central idea with students.

Guided Practice

Annotate the provided passage (yesterday’s exit ticket) and a book cover as a class and begin identifying topics, central ideas, and whether those ideas are stated or implied.

Group Practice

Analyze two book covers and begin identifying topics, central ideas, and whether those ideas are stated or implied.

Independent Practice

Students will craft short paragraphs focusing on supporting a central idea about themselves.  Exit tickets and checks for understanding are built into the Powerpoint as well.

Day 3 - Working Backwards

Launch

Students will practice identifying possible topics and central ideas from images. Whole class will discuss.

Core Instruction

Students will learn about how to work backwards from key details to determine a central idea.

Guided Practice

Students will read supporting details as a class and practice forming central ideas from those details.

Independent Practice

Students will read supporting details and practice forming central ideas from those details. Students will craft their own paragraphs and break them down into supporting details and central idea. Exit tickets and checks for understanding are built into the Powerpoint as well.

Day 4 - Group Practice

Launch

Students will practice identifying possible topics and central ideas from images. Whole class will discuss.

Core Instruction

Students will review all elements of the week’s lessons: topic, supporting details, central idea.

Independent Practice

Students will craft central idea statements with multiple passages. Exit tickets and checks for understanding are built into the Powerpoint as well.

Day 5 - Assessment

The Assessment

Hand out the assessment for students and then go over the directions:

  • Read the passage carefully.
  • Highlight/circle key details that communicate the central idea.
  • Use the close sentence scaffold to write a central idea statement.

Students will also be asked to apply what they’ve learned to two passages.