One thing I have learned is that every reading skill needs to have a super fun and engaging lesson to go with it. If the students are doing something that does not feel like learning AT ALL then they will experience the skill and remember it. You cannot jump into reading and using the skill without giving them a hands-on way to remember the skills.
I like to do this several times throughout the year with each skill, so that all the kiddos have a memory that will link them to the skill.
For main idea and detail I decided to try COOKING! (P.S. this lesson came because in science we were making jello for states of matter and NONE of my kids knew how to read a recipe, say whhhhhhhahttt?!?!?!?!?)
I started out by giving the kids the recipe. You can find the recipe here. (it makes enough for about 5 s students in a group) The recipe had no title though! (that is key!) The students were going to have to make the recipe and by the end they had to figure out what they were making.
So, in reading terms they had all the details, but they needed to figure out the main idea!
I put all the ingredients on my back table and sat back and watched. I allowed them to read the recipe and do all the work. This way they are experiencing all parts of the lesson before we turn it into the reading skill.
This lesson was TOTAL integration. They were working on main idea and details, how to measure, how to read a recipe, looking at the importance of details in writing, and teamwork!
After all groups created their final product we discussed.
1. The main idea was what they were making and the details were the ingredients and instructions.
2. Details are important- When you skip the details you end up with a nasty looking concoction instead of a beautiful and edible cup of dirt pudding.
3. Skipping over parts of a story can really change the outcome. (I promise you at least one or two of your groups will not do the recipe exactly how it is read. And if they do, you have a genius class and you should quit because they know everything already!)
After we were done, we ate and enjoyed our pudding while listening to Miss. Friend read, "Splat the Secret Agent"
We completed this FREE flower graphic organizer to go with the book as a class (I truly believe if the graphic organizer is cute children will never know that you are truly just writing down your thoughts, right?!)
In our diaries today , I had kids write things like,
"This was the best day ever, we made pudding!"
"We made dirt pudding to show the difference between main idea and detail" (Yes, student you do get an A+)
"I love cooking and I am going to cook more at home tonight!"
So, all in all I would say this lesson was a success! Now, every time we discuss main idea and detail I will remind them of this lesson so that can recall the difference between the two!
Here is the FREE recipe and graphic organizer or you can grab a whole set of lessons that are hands-on, engaging, and fun for the literature standards here!