Teaching Students to Identify the Main Idea
This approach is an excellent way to get learners to identify the main idea. This approach can be used during or after a reading selection.
The only materials needed are a blank piece of paper and a pencil or pen, and of course, the learner’s hand!
To begin this process:
o Have each learner trace their hand.
o Ask each learner to write the question words or phrase on the digits of the hand as follows:
o Thumb: Who?
o Pointer: Did what?
o Middle: Where?
o Ring: When?
o Pinky: How?
Explain how the answers to these five questions combine to tell the main idea of the story.
When this is done, they have a visual representation of the main idea, and this can be used as a beginning tool for a writing exercise.