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Main Idea, Summary, and Theme

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by

Damion Mounts

on 14 February 2014

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Transcript of Main Idea, Summary, and Theme

Main Idea, Summary, and Theme
By: Allison, Forrest, Thomas, and Damion
What are these anyway?
Main Idea:
The most important happenings of the text.

Summary:
A shortened version of what happened in the text.

Theme:
What was the main meaning of the text itself.
Main Idea:

1. Examples
2. Work Questions
Summary:

1. Examples
2. Work Questions
Theme:

1. Examples
2. Work Questions
Main Idea Example #1:





-John went to the mall to buy some ice cream. Later that day, he went home to watch some television. While watching TV, John had thought about getting more ice cream.
Summary Example #1:



-The day was bright and sunny. It was filled with fresh air that smelled of summer. Everybody was outside enjoying the playground. Two friends, Lacey and Jake, were playing on the swings together having a wonderful time.
Theme Example #1:




-Mark spent his whole day working hard, he never took any breaks. He just kept plowing through his work and pushing himself even further. Eventually, he had passed out from sheer exhaustion and dehydration.
What was the main idea of this story?:

A.
Mary buying new shoes for her purse dog.
B.
John having a constant desire for ice cream.
C.
John going home to watch his television.
D.
Ice cream having the constant desire for John.

Not A.
The story never even mentioned Mary.
Not C.
There wasn't too much importance here.
Not D.
It is not yet possible for a mass of inanimate frozen dairy to have desires.

It's B.
Throughout the story, the main idea was John thinking about ice cream during his day.
Main Idea Example #2:







-Mark was done with going to school. Everything became too hectic for him. Homework became overly difficult and he had no time to himself. Nobody could talk him back into school. His friend, Jane, likes to eat caramel pudding.
What was the main idea of this story?:

A.
Mark was fed up with school and homework.
B.
Jane enjoys pudding.
C.
The fact that Mark "even lifts, bro".
D.
The separation of two halves of the Earth.

Not B.
Jane was an unrelated part of the story.
Not C.
There is no clear evidence that Mark "even lifts", and he is not involved i the story.
Not D.
Not once does the story talk about the Earth splitting in two.

It's A.
The story talked about how Mark was sick of the homework the school gave him.
Main Idea Question #1:
-It was the first day of school for me. I was scared and had no friends. Although, as a couple of weeks had passed, I started to make friends and enjoy school. I even looked forward to going every day.

What's the main idea of the story?:

A.
The narrator enjoyed the first day of school.
B.
The narrator was nervous and scared in school, and later they even made friends.
C.
The narrator enjoyed going to gym class.
D.
The narrator disliked other students.
Main Idea Question #2:
-The dark swamp crawled with rats. The ground was covered in a thick slime that slowly moved about. The statue of the mayor had been consumed by moss growth in the alley. At the end of the swamp was a sidewalk connecting it to the city.

What's the main idea of the story?:

A.
The pleasant swamp that had free boat rides.
B.
The statue of the mayor being consumed by moss.
C.
The explanation of the horrific swamp.
D.
The sidewalk connecting the swamp and city.
What's the summary of this text?:

A.
The day was bright and sunny, it caused everybody to leave their house and come play outside with their friends.
B.
Lacey and Jake were swinging together as good friends should do.

Not B.
This answer only focuses on one detail of the story.

It's A.
This answer gave an overall description of the scene in the story.
Summary Example #2:








-The Sham-
WOW
can absorb any amount of liquid that you throw at it. It is made out of special German micro-fiber technology. Regular towels just push the liquid around. They only cause more of a mess for the user in the long run. Without the Sham-WOW, you'll be pushing yourself into more problems.
What's the summary of this text?:

A.
Towels are better than sham-WOW's, given the fact that they are woven from super Russian threads of absorbency.
B.
Sham-WOW's are better than towels in the fact that they actually absorb the liquid. Also, they are made out of a superior German fiber technology.

Not A.
This text states that towels are clearly inadequate compared to the Sham-WOW.

It's B.
The text talks about how towels don't really absorb the liquid and how the Sham-WOW is made with German micro-fiber technology.


Summary Question #1:
-Students are always loud and causing commotion in the learning environment. No wonder nobody can learn anything half the time. Online school is better than conventional school in the fact that it allows each student to be relaxed in their home while learning.

What's the summary of this text?:

A.
Regular school is full of loud students. Online school is better and provides student relaxation.
B.
All forms of school are outdated and have their own special pros and cons.
Summary Question #2:
-Fast food restaurants are causing obesity rates to go up. The concept of getting hot food is so good that people forget all the calories and fat inside fast food. Just because it is convenient does not mean that it provides all the daily required nutrients.

What is the summary of this text?:

A.
Fast food is superior to food at home in the fact that it is convenient.
B.
Fast food is a mockery to home made food in the fact that it doesn't provides all needed nutrients, and that it has a lot more calories.
What is the theme of this text?:

A.
Finishing your work is a good thing to do.
B.
Pushing your limits helps you stay efficient.
C.
Taking frequent breaks can keep your body from passing out.
D.
Drinking water is a good way to stay hydrated.

Not A.
It is a good thing, but not in the text.
Not B.
This caused Mark to pass out.
Not D.
While it is, it isn't the main theme used.

It's C.
The text demonstrates that without breaks, a toll can be taken on your body.
Theme Example #2:






-Damion had an English project he was doing with a few classmates. He had expected them to send him all the work they had finished. After receiving about a small amount of the work discussed in class, Damion realized that he could have possibly put down his email wrong. Or the peers might not have even done the work they said they would.
What's the theme of the text?:

A.
Projects are not fun.
B.
Peers are always on task.
C.
Communication isn't needed in group work.
D.
Communication is important as well as not relying on everybody to do everything.

Not A.
The text never said that they aren't fun.
Not B.
Sometimes anybody can stray off task.
Not C.
Communication is very important.

It's D.
The email may have gotten messed up, and work was not properly divided in the group.


Theme Question #1:
-Charles enjoyed his exotic scorpion. He fed it and petted it every single day. Although, one day, it stung him and he had to go to the hospital to get his hand looked at.

What is the theme of this text?:

A.
Exotic scorpions can make dangerous pets.
B.
Exotic animals are all dangerous.
C.
Charles no longer likes scorpions.
D.
His parents are going to get rid of his pet.


Theme Question #2:
-Anthony was stalked by a man in a van. The old man promised Anthony that he had ice cream and puppies in his van. Anthony accepted what the man said and entered the van. He had never been seen since that day.

A.
Assessing a situation is the most important thing to do when faced with a choice.
B.
Listening to complete strangers is beneficial.
C.
When there are puppies involved, the truth is being told.
D.
Telling an adult is the best action to take.
Recap: Main Idea:
-The most important thing that happened in a given piece of text.
Recap: Summary:
-A quick explanation
of things that had
happened in a piece
of text.

Recap: Theme:
-The underlying meaning that the text is trying to convey.
Tips for taking a test that asks about
the main idea of a text, the summary of a text, or the theme of the text.

Tips with Main Idea:

-What was the most important event?
-What details did this event have?
-Why is this event more important than others?

General Tips:

-Rule out questions that don't make sense.
-Look at questions first then read the text.
-Identify the main 5W's and 1H.
Who, what, when, where, why, and how.
Tips with Summary:

-What events happen in the text?
-What answer best explains what happened?
-Compare answers to each other and the text.

General Tips:

-Rule out questions that don't make sense.
-Look at questions first then read the text.
-Identify the main 5W's and 1H.
Who, what, when, where, why, and how.


Tips with Theme:

-What is the underlying idea of the text?
-What is the text trying to tell you?
-Which answer does the text best apply to?

General Tips:

-Rule out questions that don't make sense.
-Look at questions first then read the text.
-Identify the main 5W's and 1H.
Who, what, when, where, why, and how.
Full transcript