If you are looking for some high-interest activities to enhance your main idea and details lessons, try using animated shorts to teach reading skills.
This post features the animated short film “Lifted” found on YouTube and inserted in this post. You’ll also find a handout leveled for upper elementary students to help students practice finding the main idea and supporting details for this film
Using Lifted to Teach Main Idea and Supporting Details [4:51]
A young alien inside a flying saucer is taking a test on human abduction. He must abduct a farmer from his home while an examiner takes notes. The young alien must use thousands of identical toggle switches in this exam. Will he be able to pass this complicated exam?
In the accompanying handout, students write one central idea with seven details to support it. A sample answer key is provided as well. You can get the handout by clicking on the button.
What people are saying about the full unit…
I absolutely LOVE these. Whether you are reviewing or just starting a unit, these short films are excellent! My kids love them, and are so engaged with the films. I love listening to the comments of what is happening on the screen. I highly recommend these.
The handout includes the following information:
A young alien inside a flying saucer is taking a test on human abduction. He must abduct a farmer from his home while an examiner takes notes. The young alien must use thousands of identical toggle switches in this exam.
The young alien flicks some of the toggle switches. The farmer bumps into walls and the ceiling but does not wake up.
The alien becomes frustrated because the examiner does not help and shows no emotion. The alien then flings himself on the control panel hitting many switches. The farmer bounces all over the house but doesn’t wake up.
Eventually the young alien figures out how to get the farmer into the spacecraft.
The young alien turns off the tractor beam without closing the hatch. The farmer plummets to the ground.
The examiner takes over the controls. He stops the farmer from crashing to the ground just inches before he hits.
The examiner sets everything in the house back in its rightful place. The young alien tearfully watches the examiner.
The examiner decides to allow the young alien to launch the spaceship for home. When the young alien grabs the controls, the spaceship slams to the ground right over the farmer’s house. As it lifts, the only thing left of the farmhouse is a pillar of dirt with the farmer’s bed.
More Samples from the Teaching Reading with Animated Shorts Series
- Main Idea and Details
- Point of View and Perspective
- Characters and Setting
- Cause and Effect
- Compare and Contrast
- Problems and Solution
- Christmas Shorts
- Mood and Tone with Christmas Shorts
Check out all six products in the Reading and Writing Series. Units are also available as bundles.