Making Main Idea Tables

Did you know that finding the main idea and details of a story or text is like creating a table? Think about it! The top of a table is the most important part—the main part of a table. But a table cannot be a table without legs to support it. Greendale Elementary third graders have been busy learning how to identify the main idea and supporting details while reading. To help her third graders grasp this concept, Mrs. Dwyer had her students create main idea tables using Jenga blocks. After reading a paragraph, page, or a whole story, Mrs. Dwyer’s students identified the main idea, wrote the main idea on a slip of paper, and placed it on the top of their table. Then they had to “support” their main idea with facts and examples from the story. Those too were written on paper to put in place for the table legs. Greendale third graders now have a better understanding of what a main idea is and how to support it!