Lesson Plan

Main Idea and Summary with Newsela

Students will understand the key steps into finding a main idea and three supporting details.
Jessica Y.
Classroom teacher
Burlingame Intermediate School
Burlingame, CA
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My Grades 6
My Subjects English Language Arts, Social Studies

Students will be able to:

1) Annotate their thinking on the margins of the reading.

2) Find what the main idea is in a nonfiction text.

3) Find three supporting details that help back up the main idea.

4) Write a proper summary 5-7 sentences.




English Language Arts
Grades 6
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Activity: Conversing

Say: Raise of hands, how many of you think there is still slavery today in the world?

Do: Take a poll

Say: How many of you think children as young as 7 are being forced to work?

Do: Today, we will be reading an article on how slavery is still a huge part of some ountry's culture. 

Student Instructions

Do: Raise hands in accordance to teacher's questions.

Take out Chromebooks, log onto Newsela. 

2 Teacher Modeling

Say: Today, we will be reading about how child slavery still exists- and that it needs to stop.

Say: What do you notice immediately just by looking at the article? Text features/structures? Fiction or nonfiction?

Model: Show students how to annotate thinking on the text by high lighting a sentence and writing what you think next to it. Show that thoughts recorded should be substantive and not shallow comments. 

Student Instructions

Students follow along and copy down teacher's modeling on annotations. 

3 Quick Overview of Expectations

Explain: You are to read the article, and have at least 4-7 annotations on the text. These may include predictions, thoughts, connections, and questions. To do this, you use your cursor to highlight the text and then type into the word box.

Say: Make sure you are using the right lexile reading level.

Do: Go over the quiz questions with students to see if they need any clarification.

Do: Give 15 minutes for this step. 

Student Instructions

Students are to read the text and record their annotations in the margins. They are then expected to take the reading comprehension quiz. 

4 Main Idea and Supporting Details

Say: Now using the purple high lighter function, please high light what you think is the main idea of this article. Label in the margin, "main idea."

Say: Let's check if you have the main idea. Look into your text and see if you can identify 3 supporting details that support your main idea. If you can identify these 3, high light it in yellow and label it in the margins. 


Student Instructions

Students have to highlight in purple the main idea and in yellow the supporting details. 

5 Summary

Activity: Creating

Say: Now using both the purple and yellow highlights, please follow this skeleton to write your summary. 

Sentence 1: Topic Sentence

In "Title of the Piece" (source and date of piece), author shows that: main idea. 

Sentence 2: Supporting Detail #1

The author supports the main idea by using ________ and showing that _________________________.

Sentence 3: Supporting Detail #2

Transition word ____________, fact #2 in your own words with analysis.

Sentence 4: Supporting Detail #3

Transition word ____________, fact #3 in your own words with analysis.

Sentence 5: Concluding sentence

End the paragraph with a concluding sentence that summarizes or restates the main idea as expressed in the topic sentence. 

Student Instructions

Students must follow the skeleton and type in their summary into Newsela's "Writing" portion. Students need to be concise and accurate.