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Lesson Plan: Main Idea- Clouds

Subject:  ELA- Reading

Grade: 5

Lesson Objective: To determine the main ideas and key details of a text about clouds and then summarize the text.

Common Core StandardCCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.5.2- Determine two or more main ideas of a text and explain how they are supported by key details; summarize the text.




  • Do you think a text can have more than one main idea?  Why or why not? (Allow the students to answer.)



  • A text can have more than one main idea.  As you start reading books and texts that have more information, you will notice that there is often more than one main idea.
  • Sometimes, you have to think about what you are reading in different ways to figure out the different main ideas.
  • For example, if you are reading about a person, you might think about what the person’s characteristics are to find one main idea.  Then, you might think about what that person has accomplished to find the other main idea.
  • Figuring out the key details in the text that you are reading can also help you to figure out the main idea.  When you are able to pick out key details in a text, they are often like a giant arrow pointing you to the main idea.
  • For example, if you are reading about bears and you read one key detail that says they like to eat berries and nuts and then you read another key detail that says that bears like to chew on bark.  Both of these key details are “pointing” to the fact that the bears you are reading about are herbivores.  If you look back at the sentences that you have already read, you will see that it says that bears are herbivores and you now know that is important and a main idea.
  • Now, you are going to read information about clouds.  While you are reading, think about the key details and what the main ideas of the text are.  Then, you are going to answer the questions.
  • Does anyone have any questions?



  • Who would like to share their answers?  (Allow the students to share and go over the answers.)

Written by Kimberly Greacen, Education World® Contributing Writer

Kimberly is an educator with extensive experience in curriculum writing and developing instructional materials to align with Common Core State Standards and Bloom's Taxonomy.

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