Find out how you can help your students identify the main idea in reading comprehension.

Link to reading comprehension worksheets, activities, lesson plans and games.

Reading Comprehension Worksheets

Reading Comprehension Activities

Reading Comprehension Games

Being able to explain what the main idea in a story is demonstrates a deep understanding of the text.

Give your students practice finding the main idea by asking them to do any or all of the following activities.


Read each paragraph slowly and then draw an illustration of what is happening. If your student's find this confusing, help them focus on the task by asking them to draw what the characters in the paragraph are doing.


As you read each paragraph, write down what each character is doing.

The Three Little Pigs are leaving home.
The Three Little Pig's Mother is waving goodbye.
The first little pig collects straw.

This simple process of asking the questions, who is the main character and what are they doing, is the simplest way to start pulling out the main idea of a text.


Write one sentence that describes the main idea in each paragraph. This will still include the main characters and their actions but may also encompass important details like emotions, settings, intentions and adjectives.

For example, Three Little Pigs sadly leave their mother's home.
The First Little Pig decides to build with straw and quickly collects all he needs.

If you are exploring a novel with your class, ask your students to analyze each chapter.

Your students could:
a) Draw an illustration for the chapter.
b) List the main characters and their actions.
c) Write a paragraph describing the main idea of the story.

Being able to identify the main idea in reading comprehension will strengthen your students reading comprehension skills and improve their exam results.

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