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Elementary School Lesson Plan: Understanding Main Idea and Details - page 4 / 5





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WHO is the main character?

WHAT is the problem?

WHEN does the story take place?

WHERE is the character?

WHY does the character feel the way he/she does?

HOW is the problem solved?

Use the answers to these questions to write a one or two sentence summary of the selection as a class. Students practice writing their own summaries of chapters of novels that are read as a class or their Accelerated Reader (AR) books. These summaries are written on sticky notes and placed at the end of the chapter so that the students can review them before answering comprehension questions or taking AR quizzes.

DAY 2 (or when students are ready to move on to nonfiction) Read nonfiction selections and summarize as a class using the 5 W’s and H chart. The questions to answer are:

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    WHO is the selection mostly about?

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    WHAT is the main idea of the selection?

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    WHEN did this person live or WHEN was this place created?

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    WHERE did this person live or WHERE is this place?

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    WHY is this person or place important?

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    HOW is this person or place described?

This information can be completed in chart form or by answering the questions orally, and the questions can be altered depending on the selection.

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