We learned that we need to...
*Pay attention to the title, headings, and pictures
*Look at the first sentence or the last sentence...sometimes the main idea is stated there
*Pay attention to the details...sometimes the details that are repeated will give you a clue about the main idea
*Remember that main idea is the big idea...what the selection is mostly about, NOT just one detail or event from the story
To practice this, we used main idea bags. Each bag had some details. The students had to look at all the details and decide what the main idea would be!