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.