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bamateach bamateach is offline
 
Joined: Oct 2005
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bamateach
 
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Joined: Oct 2005
Posts: 749
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main idea
Old 11-20-2005, 12:26 PM
 

Brooke,
You may have already done this, but since I don't know here is what I do. I teach main idea for several weeks. I start this unit by first talking about categories. We do categories with things like Things you Wear, Colors, Fruits, Vegetables, etc... We talk about how they are all clothing, food, etc but the broad term or main idea is that they are all vegetables, things you wear, etc.... Then we do categories with story elements. Characters - list ALL characters, Settings - list them all, etc.... Next we go into actual main idea of stories. I start with nonfiction as it is much easier. Then I go into main idea of fiction. I try to pick passages rather than stories in the beginning. We do main idea webs where the "broad" term is in the center and the major events are around the web. This seems to help them think in broader terms. When they include the unimportant information I ask them where on the web it fits. Is it a mjor event or part of a major event. Here is an example of one that came up a few weeks ago. We read a passage on Symbols of the U.S.(we put that in the center of the web). One of the symbols was Uncle Sam. We put him as a major point to the passage. Soon someone else said initials (this was because Uncle Sam's initials are US). I asked if it is a major point or if it is part of a major point. They realized it was part of the major point so I drew a line out from Uncle Sam and included it there. End lesson by restating main idea and underlining the MAJOR points. I hope this makes sense and helps in some way.
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