Main Idea & Supporting Details Hands-On Activities and Practice


Total Pages: 6
File Size: 3 MB



Most main idea resources require students to immediately find the main idea and supporting details of a paragraph. For students that are just beginning to learn this skill, this can be confusing and frustrating. This lesson gives students simple paragraphs with paper hands that they use to organize the main idea and supporting details in a way that students can understand.

This activity taps into the kinesthetic learning style by using your hand for main idea activities. 

Bundle and Save!!! >>> Main Idea: 4 Introduction Lessons {Bundle}

Students start by reading a paragraph, crossing out the sentences that DO NOT support the main idea, and circling the “main idea”.

Then, they write the main idea of the paragraph in the palm of the hand and the topic sentence on the thumb.

The rest of the fingers are for listing the supporting details.

Once the hand diagram is complete, students cut it out and fold over the fingers to make a fist. This shows that the main idea is what supports all of the details.

*You can also demonstrate this to students by using your own hand instead of the paper version.

I have provided an example for you to use with students.

All directions and answer keys are included.

Included in download:

•1 example to share with students

•9 paragraphs for students to read – crossing out sentences that are not supporting details and circling the main idea

•3 different sizes of hand templates for students to use to organize the main idea and supporting details

Students really enjoy this activity, and it’s the perfect alternative to traditional main idea resources.

Looking for more resources to help teach MAIN IDEA skills?
Main Idea: Give Me Five
Main Idea: What’s the BIG Idea?
Main Idea: The Important Thing (based on the book, The Important Book)
Finding the Main Idea with Non-Fiction Text – Year Long Bundle
Finding the Main Idea with Non-Fiction Text
Finding the Main Idea with Non-Fiction Texts {Fall Edition}
Finding the Main Idea with Non-Fiction Text {Spring Edition}
Finding the Main Idea with Non-Fiction Text {Winter Edition}
Finding the Main Idea with Non-Fiction Text {Christmas Edition}

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Copyright © Kim Miller (For a Love of Teaching). All rights reserved by author. This product is to be used by the original downloader only. Copying for more than one teacher, classroom, department, school, or school system is prohibited. This product may not be distributed or displayed digitally for public view. Failure to comply is a copyright infringement and a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Clipart and elements found in this PDF are copyrighted and cannot be extracted and used outside of this file without permission or license. Intended for classroom and personal use ONLY.


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