When writing essays, position papers, reports, and stories, authors must present their main idea clearly. Everything within the story or essay must sustain the main idea, from the setting and the characterizations to the supporting arguments and evidence. Readers must be able to identify the main idea in order to fully enjoy a story or be swayed by an argument. The following collection of worksheets gives students short reading passages and asks them to identify the main idea using context clues.
Project idea: Have your students write a short passage and change small details to establish different main ideas. For example: Goldie is: 1) a dog, 2) a cat, or 3) a fish.