Informational Text SPI 0701.6.2 Main Idea and Supporting Details

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Informational Text SPI 0701.6.2 Identify the main idea and supporting details in text. Based on Tennessee State Curriculum Standards from the 2009-2010 school year. Prepared by Andy Lombardo, Sevierville Middle School

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Three Things We’re going to talk about 3 things… Topics Main Ideas Supporting Details

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Topic The topic is just the general subject that a sentence, a paragraph, or a piece of writing is about.

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Main Idea The main idea is just what it sounds like: the main idea, the point, the “so what?”, the most important thing the author wants you to know. The main idea is a statement about the topic. For example, in the following paragraph:

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Basketball is a fun game. Competition is one of the best parts. When you get really excited and pumped up in a close game you have a really great time. It’s also fun to get to play with your friends against other teams.

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In the basketball paragraph, the topic was: Basketball The main idea was: Basketball is a fun game. The main idea was a statement about the topic. The rest of the sentences were supporting sentences.

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Supporting Details Supporting Details give you more information or examples related to the topic and the main idea

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Anatomy of a Paragraph A paragraph will usually have one sentence that is the main idea and then 3 or more sentences that have supporting details. The main idea can come at the beginning, in the middle, or at the end of a paragraph.

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On your paper, write (1) the topic, (2) main idea, and (3) two supporting details. Summer is a wonderful time to spend at West Beach. It is a beach with light-colored, soft sand. The coastline goes on for a long way and many people enjoy walking along it. Children like to play in the surf and walk along the rocks that are visible at low tide. This is a fun beach for people of all ages.

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Topic: West Beach Main Idea: Summer is a wonderful time to spend at West Beach Supporting Details: It is a beach with light-colored, soft sand. The coastline goes on for a long way and many people enjoy walking along it. Children like to play in the surf and walk along the rocks that are visible at low tide. This is a fun beach for people of all ages.

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Stated and Implied Main Idea Now, take what you know and add this nugget of knowledge: There are two different kinds of Main Idea— Stated Main Idea Implied Main Idea

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Stated Main Idea If writing has a stated Main Idea, it is actually stated in the writing somewhere. Like in the basketball paragraph… there’s actually a sentence that states “Basketball is a fun game.”

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Implied Main Idea If writing has an Implied Main Idea, the author doesn’t come right out and say what the main idea is… you have to figure it out. For example…

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Implied Main Idea By 7:00 in the morning, New Orleans hardly looked like a city that would attract tourists. The ceaseless rain from Hurricane Katrina pounded down like a jackhammer. The wind blew with such force that the city looked like it had been turned sideways. Debris was everywhere. Buildings and landmarks became unrecognizable or disappeared altogether. People wandered the streets looking dazed and unsure where to go for help. This was a scene like no one had ever seen before.

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Implied Main Idea What was the main idea in that paragraph? Hurricane Katrina totally devastated New Orleans. Is there a sentence in the paragraph that just comes out and says that? NO! You have to figure it out on your own.

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Implied Practice: When the music started playing, my feet just started moving. I grooved to all my favorite songs. As I moved around the floor, I chatted up a storm with all my best friends. When the guy I like went by, he smiled at me. Wow! The only thing that could have made it better was if it lasted longer. This was definitely the best day of school so far. What is going on? Implied Main Idea _____________________________________

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1. A mean drum solo gets me every time. The screaming guitars fighting to be heard over the strong constant beat send chills down the spine. Listening to the gruff vocalists voice belting out lonely power ballad or a jamming rock song is heavenly. Top it off with a live performance, and life doesn’t get any better. Topic: _______________Main Idea: _______________________ Supporting Details:_______________________________________ 2. Hungry? If so, head down to your nearest Loveway store. Once there you can order yourself a healthy meal made to your exact specifications. All subs and salads are prepared with the freshest of ingredients and are made your way. There may be faster places, but there is no better place to pick-up a meal than Loveday. Topic: _______________Main Idea: _______________________ Supporting Details:_______________________________________

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