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Main Idea & Supporting Sentences

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Lauren Miller

on 30 January 2014

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Transcript of Main Idea & Supporting Sentences

Main Idea & Supporting Sentences
Main Idea
The most important or central thought of a paragraph or larger text, which tells the reader what the text is about.

The topic sentence tells the reader what the paragraph is about. It is the most important sentence in a paragraph.
The topic sentence is
the first sentence of a new paragraph.
Supporting Details
Details in a paragraph that tell the reader more about the main idea.
Supporting details make the main idea stronger.
Example #1
"Did you know that giraffes are the tallest animals in the world? They are unique in other ways, too. For one thing, they sleep only about 20 minutes each day, and usually not more than five minutes at a time. (They have to remain alert for predators.) Also, every giraffe’s coat is unique, and varies in color from white to nearly black, depending on what they eat and where they live."
Example #2
"Wilbur and Orville Wright were brothers who were inventors, even from a young age when they built kites and bicycles. Many people credit the Wright Brothers with designing and building the first successful airplane. In 1903, their first flight only lasted 12 seconds, but it continues to inspire people all over the world to learn about science and math, to work hard to realize their dreams, and to use imagination to achieve success."
Example #3
"Hurricanes are large, intense storms that begin over the ocean, where they gather heat and energy from the water. Hurricanes move slowly toward land, usually moving 10-20 miles per hour for more than one week. The most dangerous part of the hurricane is the storm surge, when it reaches land and causes flooding. Wind and waves also contribute to the damage caused by these surges."
Why is it important to find the main idea of a passage?
What are supporting details?
Main idea:
Giraffes are unique animals.
Can you find a supporting detail?
The main idea is:
A.) The Wright Brothers worked hard.
B.) The Wright Brothers were inventors who have inspired many people.
C.) Inventors build kites and bicycles.
D.) The first flight was in 1903.
The main idea is:
A) Hurricanes are a type of storm.
B) Hurricanes begin over the ocean.
C) Hurricanes cause flooding.
D) Wind and waves cause damage during a hurricane.
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