Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources
Worksheets and No Prep Teaching Resources
Reading Comprehension Worksheets
Finding the Main Idea

Finding the Main Idea
Reading Level
     edHelper's suggested reading level:   high interest, readability grades 5 to 7
     Flesch-Kincaid grade level:   5

     challenging words:    comprehension, finding, age-old, vocabulary, knowing, paragraph, overall, comparison, reading, purpose, conclude, entire, selection, describe, contrast, signal

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Finding the Main Idea
By Patti Hutchison

1     How many times have you been asked, "What's the main idea of this selection?" And how many times have you wanted to say, "I have no clue!" Finding the main idea is an important comprehension skill. Knowing the topic of the entire selection helps you to remember important details. The main idea gives you a purpose for reading and helps you to relate to the overall subject the author has written about.
2     There are a few tricks to finding the main idea of a reading selection. Many writers state them in the first and last sentences of the paragraph. In longer pieces, the main ideas might be in the first and last paragraphs. The title might also give you a clue. A good trick is to look in these places first.
3     However, the main idea may be located anywhere within the selection. In that case, ask yourself, "What is the whole passage about?" Work backwards, trying to pick out the important details. Make a list of them. Then make up a statement that includes all of the details. Finally, check to see if your main idea statement includes only the details in that passage.

Paragraphs 4 to 7:
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