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Lesson Plan: Main Idea About Octopus

octopus lesson plan

Subject:  ELA- Reading

Grade: 3

Lesson Objective: To identify the main idea and supporting details 

Common Core Standard: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.2- Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with reasons




  • When we read, how do we know what we are reading about?  (Allow the students to answer.)



  • We know what we are reading about because when we read, we pay attention to the words.
  • Listen carefully to the words that I am going to say and then I want you to tell me what I might be talking about.  “Spoon, bowl, soup.”  (Allow the students to answer)
  • I am talking about eating.  You know because you thought about the words that you had heard and thought about how they go together.
  • When you reading, you do the same thing.  Figuring out what you are reading about is called finding the main idea.  The main idea is what you are reading about.
  • I am going to give you a paragraph to read. While you are reading it, I want you to think about what the main idea is.  (Hand out paragraph to students and allow them to read.)
  • Now that you have read the paragraph, raise your hand if you think you know what the main idea is.  (Allow the students to answer.)
  • The main idea is about octopus. The sentence that tells us the main idea is, “Octopus are sea animals that live in all of the oceans of the world.”
  • Now that you know the main idea, I want you to think about how you figured it out.  In everything that you read, there are supporting details. 
  • Supporting details tell us more about the main idea. 
  • I would like for you to read the paragraph about octopus again and find 3-5 supporting details.  (Allow the students time to find supporting details.)
  • Who would like to share the supporting details that you found?  (Allow the students to answer.)
  • All of the supporting details that you shared with us tell us more about octopus!  You did a great job!



  • Was it hard or easy for you to figure out what the main idea was?  Was it hard or easy for you to find supporting details?  (Allow the students to share.)

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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