Yes, main idea. Usually makes me want to pull my hair out. But so far, I haven't wanted to...not too much anyways. You can see one of my lessons from last year here. (Disclaimer that post was NOT the first time my kids had worked with main idea.) The "don't give the ending away" activity worked so well last year that I decided to give it a whirl this year. And O.M.G. THAT was a flop! I thought for sure this was going to be an awful week. But I was wrong and I ended up being so proud of my kids during the first week of learning main idea, I thought you might want to know what we did.
Let's start with the typical problem.... the title of the passage or story is given... and students automatically tell me that is the main idea. For example, we read a passage about adaptations, titled Adaptations. Usually kids would tell me the main idea of the passage is adaptations. I think we FINALLY broke away from that. And a friend of mine told me this little trick... if students tell me the topic (adaptations) as the main idea, ask them what the author is trying to tell you about adaptations. Simple I know, but something I never thought of for some reason.
So, I decided we were doing things a little different this year. I started by making an anchor chart with the class (I had the cutesy stuff prewritten) and we talked about WHAT the main idea means and how to figure it out, using strategies.
The next day we read a nonfiction passage from Tracy's amazing nonfiction passages! Our story for this week was Penguin Chick, so I chose to use the passage about penguins. It was a nice lead in to our story and helped give my lower kids some background information for when we read the story.
I hope this gives you some ideas of things to do for main idea!