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Here Are 2 Simple Main Idea Examples Paragraph (+ Activities)

Are you a speech-language pathologist or teacher teaching the main idea of a passage to your students? Understanding the main idea of a paragraph is an important skill for language development. This blog post explains the components of a main idea passage and provides a main idea examples paragraph.  It is important to teach the main idea because this skill (understanding the “big picture”) is linked to success in all academic areas. SLPs and educators may also consider the importance of vocabulary knowledge and understanding of grammar and sentence structure. 

This blog post contains main idea examples paragraph and activities that could be used in speech therapy or special education

What Is the Main Idea?

The main idea of a passage is the most important message in that passage.

What’s the point of the passage?

What is the passage all about?

What’s the most important idea, or big picture?

When you understand the main point of the paragraph, then you can understand the paragraph’s main idea or the most important message.

It is important to note that while sometimes the main idea is stated in the passage, this is not always the case. In this case, one needs to use inferencing skills.

Reference: 

MAIN IDEA Definition & Usage Examples. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.dictionary.com/browse/main-idea

The Components Of a Main Idea Paragraph 

What the the components of a main idea paragraph? 

A single paragraph will often include a topic sentence, supporting details, and a conclusion.

Target main idea with these activities, plus read some example main idea paragraphs

Topic Sentence, Supporting Details, Conclusion

When writing a paragraph with a main idea, one would first make sure to include a topic sentence. 

The topic sentence typically occurs at the beginning of a paragraph.

After that, subsequent sentences would include supporting details.

Finally, a concluding sentence summarizes the main idea or provides a satisfactory conclusion. This is typically the last sentence of a paragraph.

What Is a Topic Sentence?

topic sentence is a complete sentence that states the main idea, or big picture, of the body paragraph.

It often comes at the beginning of the paragraph, but not always. It could be considered the most important sentence, as it expresses the central idea of the passage.

Perhaps you are writing a passage and the primary point of that passage is that one should avoid ultra-processed foods to maintain health.

The following example could be a topic sentence for that big idea:

Avoiding ultra-processed foods is essential because these foods can lead to many health problems.

Reference: 

Nordquist, R. (2020). Examples of Effective Topic Sentences. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/topic-sentence-composition-1692551

What Are Supporting Details?

Supporting details provide facts, steps, or information to support the main idea of the paragraph.

My earlier example of a topic sentence was Avoiding ultra-processed foods is essential because these foods can lead to many health problems.

So what are some supporting details to support that topic sentence?

Well, according to some internet research, I found these facts (or supporting details):

Those facts, or supporting details, could be used in a group of sentences to support my topic sentence.

Main Idea Examples Paragraph 

The topic of the paragraph is usually expressed in the topic sentence, which sometimes can be found in the first sentence of a paragraph.

The rest of the paragraph will likely contain some supporting details.

Need an example paragraph?

Here are two examples of main idea paragraphs. 

The first paragraph explains the importance of avoiding ultra-processed foods for health reasons.

The next paragraph describes how much fun Ella has playing in her first soccer game. 

Example #1

Avoiding ultra-processed foods is essential because these foods can lead to many health problems. Although they are incredibly convenient, ultra-processed foods are linked to many diseases, including 

certain cancers and cardiovascular diseases. In addition, ultra-processed foods should also be avoided because they tend to be low in fiber. This is a problem because eating fiber-rich diets can lower the risk of health conditions such as heart disease. Finally, one should be careful not to consume too many ultra-processed foods as these foods tend to contain hidden added sugars. There are many health benefits if you choose to not eat too many ultra-processed foods.

Example #2

Today was Ella’s first soccer game! She proudly put on her new uniform and soccer cleats. Ella’s parents and brother Nick were excited to watch her play. Ella played her very best, and even scored a goal! Although Ella’s team lost the game, Ella had a great time playing in her first soccer game. 

How To Teach the Main Idea

There are so many different ways to target the main idea with your students.

While students are first learning how to identify the main idea, you could first start by using pictures.

 Ask your students questions like, “What’s happening? What is this picture about?”

Next, your students could identify the main idea of a sentence using their own words. 

An example might be, “There are several negative effects of climate change, including the risks of flooding and loss of food supply.” 

“If you had to explain what this sentence is about using different words, what would you say?”

After that, your students could work on identifying the main idea of paragraphs and stories

Check out the ultimate list of children’s books for speech therapy.

To provide extra support, your students might benefit from a set of answer choices. These answer choices may be picture-supported if necessary.

What To Teach Before Main Idea

Are there any prerequisite skills to teaching the main idea?

One might first start by making sure your student knows how to answer wh questions.

It can also be extremely beneficial to make sure you are also targeting grammar and sentence structure with your students.

This is because we know that every sentence contributes to the overall meaning of the passage.

An additional area to target is vocabulary. 

Check out this vocabulary article for goal ideas and strategies for teaching.

​Understanding word meanings is also a crucial aspect of being able to comprehend what one is reading.

5 Unique (and Fun) Main Idea Activities

Here are 5 main idea activities to use with your students!

These activities could be used in individual or small group settings.

Use these worksheets and activities in speech therapy or small groups or centers.

Main Idea Longer Passages with Graphic Organizers

These main idea passages cover famous places, including Big Ben, The Eiffel Tower, Egyptian pyramids, the Great Wall of China, Stonehenge, and the Taj Mahal.

Each topic includes:

  • one worksheet that targets finding the main idea and details, and includes a graphic organizer on the page
  • one worksheet that targets answering comprehension questions
These main idea worksheets discuss famous places and can be used in speech therapy or special education

These passages are perfect for use with your fifth and sixth-grade students.

Your student can identify the main idea and supporting details from each passage.

In addition, these informational texts also provide comprehension questions. 

13 main idea worksheets are included in this engaging activity packet. 

Ashley M. reviewed, “This is a wonderful activity to target comprehension questions, with a focus on main idea and details. My students enjoyed learning about new places and we even compared/contrasted some of the locations. There is so much you can do with this resource, thank you!”

Travel-Themed Main Idea Passages and Comprehension Questions

These exciting travel-themed main idea passages can be paired with a magnetic wand and chips!

There are 4 main idea passages included. 

Topics discussed include Greece, Kenya, Jamaica, and the Netherlands.

Each main idea passage also comes with comprehension questions.

These main idea and comprehension activity sheets are best used in small group or individual sessions.

This is a speech therapy main idea and supporting details activity that contains a passage and a graphic organizer

Your student needs to state the correct answer.

Marina F. reviewed, “My students and I loved this resource. Great way to learn about many different countries in the world as we go over the main idea and supporting details! Love the bright images on each page – students were very excited to learn about other countries! Thanks!”

Henry VIII Main Idea Worksheets

Okay, history buffs- here’s your chance to bring all the drama of Henry VIII into your classroom or speech therapy session!

There are 10 Henry VIII main idea informational passages included in this fun, unique resource.

The 10 included passages are about the following historical figures or topics:

  • Henry VIII
  • Catherine of Aragon
  • Anne Boleyn
  • Jane Seymour
  • Anne of Cleves
  • Queen Mary
  • Prince Arthur
  • Edward VI
  • Elizabeth I
  • Hampton Court

Your student will read the passage, then complete the provided open-ended graphic organizer to state the main idea and supporting details.

This picture shows a main idea worksheet. It contains a main idea passage about Henry VIII and could be used in speech therapy or special education.

Jeni L, SLP, reviewed, “I love, love LOVE this packet! It includes a beautiful example to teach from, an adorable graphic organizer and 10 amazing historical stories. I have to admit, my favorite part might be the completed graphic organizer that accompanies every story! Having the answers in front of me will make teaching this skill so much easier (especially on those 4-IEPs-Sorry-No-Prep-No-Brain days!). Working with actual historical narratives makes the content much more applicable to classroom tasks. I also just love nerding out over great historical folks, so this product has everything I could ever ask for!”

Historical Topics Main Idea Activity

Try these history-themed main idea and comprehension questions for individual or small group speech therapy, special education, or centers!

This packet includes 5 historical-themed- themed informational passages.

The topics included are ancient Egypt, Tudor England, the American Revolutionary War, the Titanic, and World War II.

This resource pairs perfectly with a magnetic wand and chips!

Lauren R. reviewed, “I love this resource. I have used it a lot to work on identifying the main idea, comprehension, and finding details. I have even learned so much from these. We have looked up the areas on the map. I will continue to use this all the time.”

This is a main idea and supporting details activity for speech therapy (3rd grade, 4th grade) and special education. It contains a graphic organizer to discuss main idea and details.

Here’s how it works.

First, your student will read the passage, or listen as you read it aloud.

Next, your student will pick up a chip as they explain what the passage was about (the implied main idea), and what the supporting details were.

Finally, your student could also answer the included comprehension questions. Read more about WH questions in this post.

Halloween Main Idea Worksheets

This Halloween Main Idea Worksheet set is so much fun, that I needed to make sure you knew about it.

You’ll dig this one out every October, trust me.

This is perfect for use in the classroom or during a speech therapy session.

Alexandria M. reported, “The perfect October lesson. My students enjoyed the spooky stories, I was able to use this as morning work, homework and for a substitute. The stories are engaging and a wonderful main idea review.”

This pictures shows a Halloween main idea and supporting details worksheet that could be used in speech therapy and special education.

There are 10 “spooky” main idea passages and stories included in this resource, plus one open-ended graphic organizer page.

In addition to 2 Halloween-themed stories, your students will read about Frankenstein, mummies, vampires, werewolves, zombies, witches, haunted houses, and ghosts.

After reading the Halloween-themed story or passage, your students can fill out the open-ended spider-themed graphic organizer page. This includes a place to write the main idea of the passage, as well as some supporting details that can be found within the text.

Summary

SLPs, intervention specialists, and teachers may be searching for main idea examples paragraph and activities to try with students.

This blog post explains the components of a main idea passage. These components include a topic sentence, supporting details, and a conclusion. 

In addition, it provided some suggestions for teaching the main idea and supporting details, as well as some additional skill areas one might consider before teaching the main idea.

In summary, this blog post provides examples, activities, and suggestions for understanding and teaching this important skill.

Be sure to check out these engaging main idea worksheets and activities to try with your students!

Here are some additional related articles that you may find beneficial:

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