Main Idea Lesson Plan: It’s a Real Life Skill!

Grade Levels: 3-5, 6-8, K-3

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades K-8, students use BrainPOP Jr. and/or BrainPOP resources to explore main idea. Students will practice finding the main idea of popular movies, music videos, books, and/or articles and complete a graphic organizer to analyze the main idea of a piece of media they select.

You can use BrainPOP’s new free Lord of the Flies game to reinforce main idea concepts as well as a variety of other reading comprehension skills.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Identify the main idea of a piece of media.
  2. Explain how finding the main idea is a skill used in real life.

Materials:

Vocabulary:

main idea, detail, topic

Preparation:

Preview the BrainPOP Jr. Movie and BrainPOP Movie on Main Idea. Select the one that is most appropriate for your student and make photocopies of either the BrainPOP Jr. Activity or the BrainPOP Activity as a graphic organizer.

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Show the FYI Comic to the class. Talk about how often students think that finding the main idea is complicated, but it actually just the main point of a paragraph, essay, article, or other passage.
  2. Play either the BrainPOP Jr. Movie or BrainPOP Movie on Main Idea to give students an overview and review the concept of main idea.
  3. Explain to students that finding the main idea is something that we do naturally in our everyday lives whenever we tell someone about something we've read, listened to, or watched. Project an image from a popular movie or music video, or show the class a book or news articles that the class is familiar with. Challenge students to state the main idea of the item in one sentence. Repeat this activity with several different items so that students gain confidence in their ability to determine the main idea and understand how to determine and state it.
  4. Pass out either the BrainPOP Jr. Activity or the BrainPOP Activity as a graphic organizer. Have students work collaboratively to select a piece of media to determine the main idea of and complete the activity page.
  5. Hang students' main idea activity pages up in the classroom and refer to them throughout the year. Remind students that finding the main idea is real life skill that they can use!