Category: Reading Skills

Main Idea Teaching Activities

Main Idea Teaching Activities

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

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Columbus Day Activities

The Story of Columbus ~ Printable Versiion

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.

Map Maker

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

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Thanksgiving Book and Game

Free Thanksgiving Book and Game

Thanksgiving Book and Game

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

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Point of View

Free Printable Point of View Anchor Chart

Presenting Point of View 

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.

Point of View Activities 

Here are some online resources: Continue Reading

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Teaching Character Traits with Graphic Organizers

Character Traits

Teaching Character Traits

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

Anchor Chart Continue Reading

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Activities for Teaching Setting in Literature

Free Beach Setting Anchor Chart

Teaching Setting

Activity #1

I often teach the setting of a story by discussing genres. I ask students to name where and when a specific genre takes place.

Here is an example: Continue Reading

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