Thursday, October 11, 2012

Teaching Main Idea & Pumpkin Seed Estimation

We started working on main idea this week. Before we ever look for main idea and details in the text, I always bring a bag of stuff to show my kids. In my bag I had a hair brush, hairspray, a flat iron and a comb. We discussed what the bag was all about. They got it immediately! It was all about fixing my hair! The kids drew and labeled the items and then wrote the main idea of the bag.

Today we did one more example together with car wax, window cleaner, a shammy, and a sponge. The main idea was washing the car!

Next, we gave each table a bag. As a group, they had to draw and label the "details" in the bag, then come up with the "main idea" of the bag. They did awesome!!! We were sure to use the terms "details" and "main idea" over and over again when they shared :)

Main Idea: Fixing and building things
Details: pliers, screw, screwdriver, wrench

Main Idea: Painting a picture
Details: paint set, paintbrush, paint bottle, painting

Main Idea: Caring for a dog
Details: dog food, leash, treats, dog brush

Main Idea: Baking cookies/muffins
Details: spoon, measuring cup, mix, bowl
Other ideas for bags that we used:
Mailing a letter: paper, pen, envelope, stamps
Going to the beach: beach towel, sunglasses, flip flops, sunscreen
Watching a movie: popcorn, DVD, remote, soda
Making Kool-Aid: pitcher, sugar, spoon, Kool-Aid packet
They LOVED this activity and did a fabulous job! We will start finding the main idea and details in text very soon!!
This afternoon we put our kids in groups of 4 to estimate the seeds inside their pumpkin! As you can see, we had circles for groups of 10 and circles for groups of 100. The kids had a blast! {The teachers were exhausted afterwards!}

TG I{t's almost} F!


  1. Thanks for the specific ideas for the main idea bags! My teachers will use this lesson next week!
    Buzzing with Ms. B

  2. great ideas! Inspiring!!!

  3. Hello I was wondering if you have the page for main idea? What a great activity.
    Thank you,

    1. You can pick up a copy from my TPT shop! It includes several printables to practice main idea, too! Here is the link:

  4. Love this! Main idea is difficult for many children and this gives a hands on attempt. I can't wait to use it. Thank you for sharing!