Using Bags to Find the Main Idea and Details-UPDATE

I recently updated a fun activity that was originally put together for my 3rd and 4th graders who were having a difficult time finding the Main Idea back in 2011.  It was definitely in need of an update!
My kiddos were having such a difficult time, so I really wanted to pull them away from the text for a bit, but still address Main Idea.  So I decided to have bags full of items that go together.  As the items are pulled out, the students think about how they are related to one another and ultimately what the main idea would be of all the items together.  In most cases, one item is the key item that really ties everything together, the detail to best support the main idea.  It worked really well and the kids loved it!

I simply went to the dollar store and bought some tote bags and put the items inside.  As I slowly pull the items out of the bag, we discuss how they go together and make predictions about what the main idea of the bag could be.  Each time I pull something out, I remind the students how we don’t know for sure what the bag is for, because we haven’t seen all of the items.  There should be one item (generally the last, but it does not have to be) that ties them all together.  This is the detail that best supports the main idea.  By making this the last item, it helps to show students that, just like reading a paragraph, they must read through the entire paragraph.

What is included in the download:
~  lesson plan to be used with any bag
~  worksheets/graphic organizers for bags 
containing 3, 4, 5, and 6 different items
~  item suggestions for three different bags, (including the order of presentation for items)
~  reminder sheet for the students, "When thinking about Main Idea, don't forget to..."

So if you've already purchased this item, make sure you head over to download the updated version!  If you want to check out my original post, you can do so by going here.

Plastic Book Boxes-GIVEAWAY!!

Want some help organizing your classroom?  I have a great product to share with you that will help do just that AND make it look great!
Steps to Literacy has asked me to review their wonderful plastic book boxes!   

I just love them!

I use them to organize my collection of picture books used for read alouds.  Instead of being lined up on the shelf, as you see here (to the left).

They are now in these great looking plastic book boxes, grouped by topic!  I just created and printed out some labels that match my room and stuck them right on the front of the plastic book boxes.  The bins are nice and sturdy and each one can hold many books!

In addition to storing books and making your classroom look great, these plastic book boxes can also be used to store other things as well!!
So guess what?!  Steps to Literacy has not one, but 
two sets  for me to giveaway!!  
Each set is comprised of 8 plastic book boxesan orange, lime green, purple, bright blue, red, yellow, green, and blue box!  
2 winners will be randomly selected!!  If you want to win a set of your own, enter below:
Thank you Steps to Literacy for contacting me to review these plastic book boxes and to share them with my readers!