#089: 5 Strategies to Find the Main Idea in Nonfiction Text

reading comprehension Mar 31, 2022

Finding the main idea of a text is tricky for students at all levels in elementary school.

That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t introduce main idea in nonfiction text. While we don’t expect our primary grade students to master this concept, an introduction and practice in a whole group format is doable and appropriate.

Today is all about strategies for identifying the main idea with primary grade students.


First off, your students need to know what a main idea is. I'm willing to bet many of your students don't know. 

Explaining what the main idea is during a read-aloud and examining the difference between that and the topic of the nonfiction text you are reading is a good place to start. You will have to practice and try this out quite a bit before students can do this with a graphic organizer in partners or on their own. Give yourself and your class time to become familiar with finding the...

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#088: How to Begin Teaching Students to Read Nonfiction

Teaching students to read nonfiction is not harder than teaching fiction, it's just a few different strategies that make the difference.

With that said...do you know the nonfiction reading strategy your students really need? Let me just tell you upfront. It's using text features.

If we’re honest, we know most students skip over the text features when reading nonfiction texts. They either don’t know what to do with them or it feels like it’s just one more thing to do or the text features feel disjointed or separate from the text, and students don’t know when to pay attention to them. Well...

I've got a system for that! [Shocking, right?!] 


Are your students confident in using text features when reading nonfiction texts?

There are definite steps to teaching students to read nonfiction effectively. We certainly can't just throw them in and expect students to read and...

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