Monday, September 2, 2013

Main Idea & Details Game!

I'm always looking for ways to get my students out of their desks and working around the classroom. They love "working around the room" and leaving their desks behind.

I always play the Jeopardy theme song as a transition when working around the room individually, with partners or in small groups. When the music stops they have to be in a spot or I have them return to their desks to do their work and that's just boring sometimes! 


We work around the room a lot during writing workshop time! They just love sitting on the floor and rugs with their pencils, erasers, dictionaries and writing notebooks. 

Our first unit in writing workshop is learning how to write a paragraph. We've been working really hard on identifying main ideas and details. This can be a really tough concept for 2nd grade students. Before we begin writing paragraphs, we take the time to really understand main ideas and supporting details. We'll do a lot of practice like this: 

What is the main idea of these groups of words? 

glue, pencil, markers - main idea: school supplies
California, Indiana, Michigan - main idea: states
Mexico, Canada, United States - main idea: countries

Once they have a firm grasp on finding the main idea of a group of words, we move on to identifying the main idea in a group of sentences. I created this main idea and details game to use in class last week. They worked in groups of three and forgot how much they were learning, because it felt like a game to them! Remember how I said I like to get them out of their seats? They had so much fun working on this activity at different spots around the classroom. You can pick up the game for free in my TPT store here

I placed four sentences in each envelope, numbered one to seven. The students discussed them together, identified the main idea and then recorded it on the yellow recording sheet.

I like to make our work in class relevant to their everyday lives so I made up sentences that they could relate to. The group below is working on the Starbucks sentences. Students had to identify the main idea from the following sentences that were mixed up inside envelope number seven: 

He likes regular coffee with cream and sugar.
My dad loves to go to Starbucks before work. 
Sometimes he buys a bagel with cream cheese. 
He always leaves a tip for the barista. 

I know my students really grasp the concept when they can pick out the main idea from a group of mixed up sentences. It's easy for them to identify the main idea/topic in a paragraph, but much harder when they have to read several sentences that aren't in a particular order. 

Do you want to know how much my students LOVED this activity? We only had time to make it through four stations before it was time for lunch and recess. When I said it was time to line up there was a collective, "NOOOO!! Not yet! We're having so much fun!" 

Let me know if you download the game and use it with your class! The game can be played independently, with partners or in a small group setting. For an extension activity students can create their own set of four sentences and have their peers identify the main idea. 

Can YOU identify the main idea of my blog post? I sure hope so or you might need to come spend a day in 2nd grade! :) My students are experts so they can teach you!



Unknown said...

I love this. I just printed! Thanks so much for the freebie.

Heather said...

I'm glad you enjoyed the freebie! :)

Unknown said...
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Ashley said...
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Unknown said...

I just printed this. Thank you!


Vanessa said...

I just downloaded this for my reading group! Can't wait to share it with them - thanks so much :)

Anonymous said...

My pupils loved it. Thank you so much.

Unknown said...

Thanks for the Freeby, Will use tomorrow as a whole group activity! :)

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