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teaching main idea

Main Ideas: What, Why, How

If your students are still struggling to identify main ideas in informational sources, do they need clarity on what exactly “identify a main idea” means? The chart below has language I use to explain the what, why, and how of identifying main ideas. If you feel like you’ve done this over and over again or …Read more

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What do we mean by “main idea”?

There are many interpretations of the term “main idea” or “central idea.” In my search for clarity, I have turned to the 1986 text Teaching Main Idea Comprehension, edited by Jim Baumann. (Sadly, this book is out of print.) In the first chapter, James Cunningham and David Moore describe research that revealed the many interpretations …Read more

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