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Finding the Main Idea Explicit Instruction

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Megan Benay

on 20 March 2013

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Transcript of Finding the Main Idea Explicit Instruction

Finding the Main Idea of a Poem or Song What is your favorite song?
WHY? Next, I will find out what happens to the subject of the poem. I will underline words or phrases that describe the action. The first stanza of the poem gives me information, such as the person telling the story is ready right now to try to achieve something great in their life. I know this because they say they're going to "go for it" "right now" and talk about the sky being the limit, which is usually said when referring to trying to achieve something.

The next stanza tells me the person is ready to "move forward" in their lives, and "reach for the stars." I'm going to write this all in my Main Idea Chart 1. What Happens to the Main Subject? Using information I’ve identified about the subject of the poem (including what happens to the subject and what it is like), I can draw a conclusion about the poem’s main idea. I can conclude that the main idea of “On Top of the World” is that the person can achieve great things in their life right now because they feel confident and ready. I will write this on Main Idea Chart 1. Drawing a Conclusion about the Main Idea Ask Yourself: "How can I figure out the main idea of a poem?" You can:
Look at the title, and then read the poem aloud to find who or what the poem is about.
Next, you can look for information about what happens or the actions of the subject.
Finally, you can use information about the subject and the action to draw a conclusion about the poem’s main idea. Start by Reading the Whole Poem I will read the song lyrics to "Top of the World" out loud while you can follow along below. Thinking about the Subject While I'm reading the poem, I will start by thinking about the subject of the poem—who or what the poem is about. Sometimes, a poem’s title gives readers a clue about the poem’s subject, but a title may or may not tell who or what the subject of the poem is about. Good readers read the whole poem, with their title clue in mind, before determining the main idea.

For example, the title “Top of the World ” tells me that the poem has something to do with someone being on top of the world. This might be a metaphor though, so I have to be careful I don't take it too literally. Regardless, it doesn’t tell me the exact main idea. Identifying the "Who" or "What" Think Check "Top of the World" After reading the poem, I will identify who or what the poem is about.

The first stanza, or group of lines, in the song is written in the first person (using "I'm," "my," etc.) so I know it's going to be about someone telling a story about themselves.

As I continue to read, I get a better picture of who this person is telling the story. So far, I can tell the song is about a person who is ready to take on a new task or challenge. I will write this information on Main Idea Chart 1. It's my time, and right now, I'm going for it
It's my turn to take on the world
And right now, the sky is my only limit
Yeah, I'm ready to take on the world

It's my time, and right now, I'm moving forward
And right now, it's cold, but I'm getting warmer
It's my turn to reach for the stars
It's my turn to live on the edge
It's high time like dark days without an order
Yeah, I'm ready to take on the world

Oh, I'm a satellite,
Because I'm over the moon tonight
Oh, feeling so alive,
'Cause I'm on top of the world tonight Songs Have Main Ideas When I'm listening to my favorite songs, I like to know what the song is mostly about. What I really want to know then, is what the main idea of the song is. Poems work the same way! Both poems and songs have main ideas. Otherwise, they would be about a whole bunch of ideas put together that don't really make sense all together. Who would want to listen to a song or read a poem that doesn't make sense?!
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