Main Idea Monsters

I have been watching the results in the poll on the side of this blog.  I am trying to meet the needs of all of you as well as what I will need for myself this upcoming school year!

As a speech-language pathologist working in an elementary school, I am have many students that struggle with understanding main idea. It is important for students to understand what they hear in order to understand what they read. Are they grasping the entire message? I use various strategies to teach this skill.  I created an activity pack with this in mind!

I teach my students “it is what the whole thing is about”  and “try to say it in one word or sentence.”  I teach them to check their work by making sure all details have to do with their main idea.  I created a visual to remind them of this strategy using the theme of this activity.  All you have to do is print, laminate and display!

I created a fun game to review this skill.  If you are working on auditory comprehension, you can have students read to each other or hand the cards they have drawn to you to read to them.  You can place all cards in a hat, bag, Ned's Head, or cup.  Once drawn, they must listen to the short (3-5 sentences) stories.  They must express the main idea in one word or sentence.  I teach my students to never say “I do not know!”  I teach them to ask for the following:

  • “May I have a hint?”
  • “Can you repeat it?”
  • “May I have a choice?”

Once students respond accurately, they may hold onto their monster card.  But watch out for the three-eyed monster!  If drawn, he takes all the cards away!  The student with the most cards at the end wins!


I created a follow-up worksheet to be used after the activity or as home practice.  Can the students recognize the main idea in the choices?  You may cover up with white out the choices if you want them to verbally express or write it down on their own.

Check out this activity pack at Teachers pay Teachers.  Let me know what you think!