Lesson Plan

Central Idea

Identify and summarize the central idea of an informational text article.
Jill T.
Special Education Instructor
Boiling Springs 9th Grade Camp
Boiling Springs, SC
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My Grades 9
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies

Students will be able to identify and summarize the central idea of an informational text article.

English Language Arts
Grades 9 - 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook: What is a central idea?

The teacher will have the students get on the Newsela website and read an assigned article and take a quiz. Further practice could be for students to pick their own article and role play.

Student Instructions

Read article on Newsela and take a quiz.


2 Role play activity

Activity: Creating

Before assessing with Newsela the teacher will have the students work on the central idea or main idea with a role playing activity.

Main aim: Identify and critically analyze the main idea of a story or text in the form of a role play within a working environment. Specially for high school and college students.

Name: Main Idea Role Play Actvity

Type: Main idea activities

Participants: Small groups of 4-5 participants per group

Duration: 30 minutes

Preparation: Selected text for main idea identification and analysis should have been read before role play

Materials: Pen and paper


Discuss briefly the text with the students to refresh memory especially if the text was read sometime ago.
Identify and select one  main character from the text for each group.

Student Instructions

Each group must decide on the following:

the individual student within the group that will play the part of the selected character.
the props or items most used or considered most important by that selected character. The number of props or items must match the number of remaining students in the group.

Role play

For the main idea role play, the student playing the part of the main character must choose one particular prop or item from the selected props/items to take with him or her. Here, the scenario may be varied. For example, the scenario could be a situation where the character was stranded on a dessert island or where he or she was forced to travel with only one prop/item allowed.

The students with the props or items must then exchange dialogue with the main character in order to convince the latter that their prop or item should be chosen for the journey. Each student must only use arguments, ask questions and provide answers that reflect the story of the text.

The student playing the part of the main character must make a final decision on the prop/item which best expresses the main character’s personality in the text.