Teachers should begin main idea lessons by explaining the basic structure of paragraphs.
EXAMPLE –A paragraph consists of a group of sentences that relate to a specific topic called the main idea or central thought. The main idea is expressed in a sentence called the topic sentence. The remaining sentences add details. These are called supporting details. When reading a paragraph look for transition words [but, however, etc.]. These often change the meaning of the paragraph. Readers can look for the main idea by asking ‘Who?‘ or ‘What?‘. Answers to ‘Where?‘ ‘When?‘ and ‘Why?‘ usually provide details to support the main idea.Continue Reading
A link to the printable version of “The Story of Christopher Columbus” may be found at the end of the blog post.
The Story of Christopher Columbus
Christopher Columbus was born in Genoa, Italy in 1451. Living by the Mediterranean Sea, he longed to be a sailor. He began sailing on Italian ships at the age of 14. When Columbus was 25, he was sailing on a ship headed for England. A group of French pirates attacked his ship. Columbus was hurt, but managed to grab onto some floating wood and make his way to shore.
Columbus opened a shop that sold maps and books for sailors. There he became a map maker and began reading books. He read a book written by Marco Polo. Columbus was fascinated by Polo’s book. After reading this book, Columbus was sure he could reach the Indies by traveling west. He wanted to go to the Indies to get jewels and spices.Continue Reading
I love holidays! I get as excited as my students when I pull out holiday related materials. This Thanksgiving activity includes a turnaround upside down book as well as a comprehension game.
Turn Around Upside Down Book
With the turn around upside down book, students read about the Pilgrims from the beginning of the book to the center. They will then close the book, turn it upside down, and read the story of Squanto from the “new” beginning to the center. Continue Reading
By using the comparison of a diorama, my students are able to begin to understand 1st and 3rd points of view. I tell the students that in first-person, you shrink yourself and become one of the characters within the diorama. If you were writing a story set in the diorama, you would describe what is happening to you. In third-person, you are outside the diorama, looking in, and telling a story about what you see.
Describing a character in depth including describing a character’s thoughts, words, or actions is an important Common Core Standard. Beginning in 5th grade students must also be able to compare characters. Listed below are a few ways to help students understand this important standard.
#1 Use a Picture of the Character with Descriptive Words