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Finding the Main Idea, Making Inferences, Drawing Conclusions, and Summarizing Ms. Johnson and Mr. Van Treese.

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Presentation on theme: "Finding the Main Idea, Making Inferences, Drawing Conclusions, and Summarizing Ms. Johnson and Mr. Van Treese."— Presentation transcript:

1 Finding the Main Idea, Making Inferences, Drawing Conclusions, and Summarizing Ms. Johnson and Mr. Van Treese

2 Main Idea The main idea of a paragraph is different from the topic.  The topic: what the paragraph is about.  The main idea: what the author says about the subject.

3 Why might readers have difficulty identifying the main idea of a passage?

4  Stated at the end of a passage  Stated within of a passage  Implied within the passage  Stated at the beginning of a passage Main Idea….

5 What are some strategies for identifying the main idea of a passage?

6 Main Idea Formula Topic Topic + What author says about topic + Author’s purpose = Main Idea

7 To find the main idea of a paragraph or passage, ask yourself: What is the most important point the author wants me to understand about the topic?

8 The main idea is the most general statement about the topic: People differ in numerous ways. They differ according to physical characteristics, such as height, weight, and hair color. They also differ in personality. Some people are friendly and easygoing. Others are more reserved and formal. People differ in numerous ways. They differ according to physical characteristics, such as height, weight, and hair color. They also differ in personality. Some people are friendly and easygoing. Others are more reserved and formal. Which is the most general statement? Identifying Main Ideas

9 At the beginning of the paragraph: "Beginning a new job is always exciting and sometimes intimidating. There is an invigorating feeling of a fresh start and a clean slate. You face new challenges and draw on a renewed sense of energy as you approach them. But you may also feel apprehensive... " (p.196, Opening Doors)

10 At the end of the paragraph: “...Most Anglo-Americans, for instance, see the extensive family obligations of Hispanics as a burdensome arrangement that inhibits individual freedom. Hispanics, in contrast, view the isolated nuclear family of Anglo-Americans as a lonely institution that cuts people off from the love and assistance of their kin. This tendency to view one's own cultural patterns as good and right and those of others as strange or even immoral is called ethnocentrism." (p.197, Opening Doors)

11 Within the paragraph: " Jim always seems to score well on tests. How does he do it? Jim offers these tips for successful studying. The first step is to decide what to study. Find out what topics will be covered on the test. Next, organize your notes and other materials on these topics. Third, make study guides to use as memory aids. Your final step is to review your notes and study guides until you feel confident about taking the test." (from Becoming a Confident Reader, p.200)

12 "All organisms must insure that their offspring have a reasonable chance to survive and begin a new generation. Plants, however, face special challenges. Plants do not have nervous systems, and they are not able to run away from predators or pests. Because nearly all plants live in fixed positions, they must also manage to find mates without being able to move around. Therefore they have evolved strategies for dealing with these problems that are essentially passive. An important part of such strategies is a reproductive pattern enabling each individual to produce large numbers of offspring." (Levine and Miller, Biology, 1991)

13 Finding the Stated Main Idea 1. Locate the Topic 2. Locate the Most General Sentence /Thesis (if there is one) 1.Check topic sentences: 2.Topic Sentence First (usually) 3.Topic Sentence Last (second in frequency) 4.Topic Sentence in the Middle 5.Topic Sentence First and Last (last = emphasis) 3. Study the Details—all the sentences in a paragraph must relate/support/explain the main idea.

14 Inferring Unstated Main Ideas 1. Find the topic. 2. Decide what the writer wants you to know about the topic. 3. Consider the author’s purpose or perspective on the topic. 4. Express this idea in your own words. Identifying Main Ideas

15 Making Inferences and Drawing Conclusions  “Reading between the lines.”  Using clues from the text to figure out what the author is trying get across.  Some ideas are not stated directly in the text; YOU have to draw your own conclusions about what is going on.

16 What conclusions can we draw by making inferences about this picture?

17 What is going on in this story? “He put down $10 at the window. The woman behind the window gave $4. The person next to him gave $3, but he gave it back to her. So, when they went inside, she bought him a large bag of popcorn.”

18 Guided Practice  See “Ordeal by Cheque.”  Work with a partner or small group to use clues from the checks to construct a story.

19 Independent Practice  See “Implicit Main Ideas Student Page.”  Use the skills that we’ve practiced to make inferences and draw conclusions about the main ideas in the two passages on the handout.

20 Summary What makes a good summary?  Shorter than the main text.  Contains the main ideas.  Does not contain all of the supporting details.  Follows the text structure and order of the main text.

21 Modeling  See “Gardening with Native Plants” handout.  Read article as a class.  What is the main idea?  What supporting details can we leave out?  What is the text structure?  Now, using these ideas, we can write a good summary.

22 Summary of “Native Plants” article Although native plants are beautiful and important to wildlife, they are disappearing. People can easily grow native plants in their gardens because they are accustomed to the conditions of an area. When choosing a native plant, think about the plant’s needs. Be sure that you have the right amount of sunlight, moisture, and appropriate space to accommodate plant size.

23 ©Kristi Orcutt, 2007 Some Examples  Read the “Bats Can Be Farmer-Friendly!” handout.  What is the text type?  What is the text structure?  Which of the four summaries is the best?

24 Guided Practice  Summarize the story “A Room Full of Silly Clowns”.  Use the “Give Me a Hand!” graphic organizer.  Trace your hand on a sheet of paper. On each finger, list a key point from the story.  After you have five key points, write a 3-5 sentence summary.

25 Putting It All Together  Individually, look at the article “Bone Up on Bone Loss! Exercise to Build Healthy Bones!”  Before reading the article, look at the subheadings and text boxes in the article.  What inferences can you make about the main idea of the article? Write down what you think the main idea of the article will be.

26  Now go back and read the article. Was your prediction right? What is the main idea of the article? How do you know?  Now read the four summary choices. Choose the best summary. Why? For each of the other choices, explain why it is not the best.


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