Wednesday, March 13, 2013

What's the main idea??

I'm sorry that it has been so long since I last posted! These past few weeks have been crazy! I've hardly had any time to get things done so I am really looking forward to Spring Break when I can play some catch up :) This week I've been working on main idea and details with my kids. This is a topic that I wasn't particularly looking forward to because I knew if I didn't think it was interesting my kids sure wouldn't. Then I stumbled upon a little bit of inspiration! I was buying some clip art on Scrappin' Doodles ( and noticed they had a free giveaway for march...SPAGHETTI AND MEATBALLS clip art! Once the creative juices started flowing my main idea and details mini lesson was created!

This unit turned out to be way more than I thought it would (in a good way)! I just assumed that I would teach my kids a little bit about main idea and detail but it extended into a fun reference that the kids use whenever they are reading and writing.
 1. I started off by showing my kids the anchor charts created for this lesson. I explained that the main idea was like the plate we put our spaghetti on. The plate holds it all together and without it all of the noodles (our story) would all fall apart! The we talked about how meatballs = details. We put them in our story to help us understand the main idea and make it more interesting.
This poster explains how we use our main idea and detail together to help understand the text.
2. Next we read the spaghetti and meatballs story I wrote (included in the lesson). As a class we identified the details and then decided on what our main idea should be.
3. We created this fun little cravtivity for the kids to make their own spaghetti and meatballs organizer!

I bought paper plates and had students write three details from our story on their meatballs. Then they wrote the main idea on the plate, colored in their spaghetti and meatballs (included in this unit) and glued everything onto the plates. Voila! Now each kid had their own spaghetti and meatballs to use as a reference for organizing their writing and understanding reading!
Now here's the best part! Since teaching this unit when kids are lacking detail in their writing we always say: MORE MEATBALLS! In the past when I asked kids to add more detail I noticed that they didn't always understand what I wanted them to do. Now they completely get it and say Ms. Stuckert look at all my meatballs! It's so great to see them excited about this and to implement it in the writing process! I'm one happy teacher right now!

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