Main Idea 1st Grade Unit

Unit plan for teaching main idea.  First lesson is an introduction. Second lesson focuses on main idea in nonfiction text. Third lesson focuses on main idea in fiction text. Each lesson plan includes engaging activities, guided practice, think check, independent practice. Provides printable materials, building background knowledge and vocabulary. Teaching tips are highlighted. In order to view some of the materials, you must sign up, but it is free!

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
GLE 0101.1.2
Employ a variety of strategies to decode words and expand vocabulary.
GLE 0101.8.2
Employ a variety of basic reading comprehension strategies.
GLE 0101.8.3
Develop reading fluency and accuracy.
GLE 0201.8.2
Employ a variety of basic reading comprehension strategies.
Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.
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Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Extension suggestions: 


  • Copy pictures from books read aloud in class. Have students identify the main idea with textual details and create a title.
  • Have students review a book aloud or in writing and describe the main idea of that book.
  • Have students retell the main idea of books during read aloud sessions, guided reading, and independent reading.
  • Tell students a story and have students determine the main idea and a title for the story.
  • Have students use the title of a poem to identify its main idea.
  • As you read a book aloud, work with students to complete a graphic organizer, charting facts from a book. Use these facts to determine the main idea. (See Additional Activity A in Teacher and Student Materials below.)
  • Have students create titles for their stories that reflect the main idea of the story.
  • In Shared Writing, provide students with the main idea and have the students create a story and title based on the main idea.
  • Make a class Main Idea Big Book. Students may illustrate and describe the main ideas of their favorite books from guided reading or read aloud sessions.
  • Pair students with a partner. Have each partner share a story or a piece of their writing and use the title to determine the main idea.