Week 3 : Main Idea

Day 1:
1. Long ago most people couldn't even write their own names. They just wrote "X: or a cross to stand for their names. Then they kissed the paper it was written on to show that they were sincere. After a long time, "X" came to stand for a person's signature and also for a kiss. Today "X" is used as a sign of love.

1. The story mainly tells:
A Why people put "X: on their letters.
B. How the meaning of "X: has changed.
C. Why people couldn't write their names.
D. Why people write.

2. The names we have for most Indian tribes aren't the names that the Indians used to refer to themselves. Most often the tribal name they chose meant "the men" or "the people." For the most part, the tribal names we use were given to a tribe by their neighbors. since Indians were often at war with those neighbors, the tribal names often weren't very complimentary.

2. The story mainly tells:
A. Where tribal names came from
B. Why people call names
C. what Indian tribes were like
D. How many anmes Indians have

3. One species of fish has a strange appetite. These fish, known as Glanis, catch and eat large birds swimming on the surface of the water. Gulls, geese, and ducks are sometimes found in their stomachs. It seems difficult to believe, doesn't it? Most often we think of birds eating fish. "Turn about is fair play," say the Glanis.

3. The story mainly tells:
A. What most fish eat
B. Why birds eat fish
C. How big the Glanis is
D. What the Glanis eats

4. Before the first World War, part of a skull was discovered in Piltdown, England. Some scientists said it was 500,000 years old. Scientists began to think that human beings had been on earth in their present form longer than they had thought before their wonderful Piltdown discovery. Years later they found out the skull was a fake. It had just been made to look old.

4. The story mainly tells:
A. What happened long ago
B. Where Piltdown is
C. what the Piltdown discovery was
D. How a skull looked old

5. No one knows for certain how long the longest lived animal lived. Nor is it known how long the longest living plant may live. It is accepted by scientists, however, that some trees live for thousands of years, possibly as much as five or seven thousand years. There is no reliable record of animals living anywhere near that long.

5. The story mainly tells:
A. How to live longer
B. How long plants and animals live
C. Why plants live so long
D. Why animals outlive plants


Whole Group Activity
1. http://www.harlan.k12.ia.us/Fourth%20Grade%20Reading%20-%20main_idea_activities.htm

2. Hands On Activity: Have the kids draw a large flower on construction or art paper. In the middle they will write the word flower or a
kind of flower. Then in the petals they will write sentences about it. They may choose to do a football or a soccer ball....

Day 2

1. Brain pop jr. Main Idea: http://www.brainpopjr.com/reading/comprehension/mainidea/preview.weml

2. Find the sentence that does not fit the main idea in the paragraph.

Contributing to the Main Idea

Every sentence in a paragraph must contribute to the main idea. Most of the sentences in a paragraph simply support the main idea. Some may state or summarize that idea.
There is one sentence in each of the following paragraphs that does not contribute to the main idea. It does not belong in the paragraph. Underline the sentence that should be removed from each paragraph.

1. I am looking forward to election day. It’s fun to vote and exciting to watch the election results. I’ll be rooting for my candidate to win and enjoying the suspense if the vote is close. The following day will be a good time to play video games. No matter who wins, an election is a special occasion.

2. April is beginning the lengthy process of choosing a college to attend. She is buying and reading guides to the best schools. She hasn’t completely ruled out working for a year before attending college. She’s checking out the many Websites that provide information for picking the right college or university. She’s even researching the climate of the area of every school she considers.

3. Bill is one of those people who just doesn’t have to worry about gaining too much weight. He is the best tennis player I’ve ever met. Bill can eat any amount of any food he likes without putting on an ounce. He can go for weeks without exercising with no apparent effect. It just doesn’t seem fair!

4. Scientists are learning a great deal about the aging process. This knowledge will allow doctors to help their patients live longer and better lives. They will be able to defeat diseases associated with aging and perhaps even delay the onset of old age. Many doctors would agree that some medicines are much too expensive.


Study zone site practice with supporting details: http://www.studyzone.org/testprep/ela4/h/supportingdetailsl.cfm

3. Additional Practice - more advanced: http://library.thinkquest.org/CR0210124/mainidea.html

4..Individual practice on computers:
Practice Quizes: http://www.studyzone.org/testprep/ela4/h/mainideap24.cfm
Read Quarium by Harcourt: http://www.harcourtschool.com/activity/book_buddy/rosie/skill_pre.html
or practice with the following:

1. What do you think of when you hear of Timbuktu? some people think of a real but distant city. Others think of a strange but imaginary land that doesn't really exist. The truth is that Timbuktu does exist. Many years ago this African city was one of the richest cities in the world. It was the world center for the salt trade.

The story mainly tells:
A. what people think about Timbuktu
B. How old Timbuktu is
C. why Timbuktu was so rich
D. Why people are wrong

2. There is an amazing story told about the horned toad of the southewestern part of america. It can squirt blood from the corners of its eyes. when the horned toad becomes excited or angry, its blood pressure is supposed to rise. This causes the little blood vessels near the corners of its eyes to break, squirting blood for some distance.

The story mainly tells:
A. Where blood comes from
b. How the horned toad squairts blood
C. How the horned toad's blood pressure rises
D. Wehre horned toads live

3. There is plenty of water on earth. In fact, there is enough water on our planet for every single person on the entire earth to have a lake so large that he wouldn't be able to see the end of it. The trouble is that the water isn't always found where it is needed. Also, much of it is salty or polluted. Thus it is that there are many people without enough water.

The story mainly tells
A. Why people have enough water
B. Why everyone on earth has a lake
C. Where water is found
D. How there's a water problem with so much water.

4. People in mountain villages of Switzerland live in houses called chalets. They are made of wood, often with stone foundations. Usually these unpainted houses are three stories highg, sometimes even higher. A heavy, steep roof over hangs the house to protect it from snow and rain. There is a balcony around the second floor.

The story mainly tells:
A. what chalets are made from
B. Why chalets have steep roofs
C. What all mountain houses are like
D. What chalets are like

5. Have you ever seen yellow spots on plant leaves? If only a few leaves are spotted, the plant won't die. If many leaves are spotted, the plant will probably die. It is best to pick off the spotted leaves. Also, make sure the room isn't too hot for good plant health.

The story mainly tells:
A. what color plants are
B. How yellow spots affect plants
C. Why plants get yellow spots
D. Why cold rooms are good

Day 3
1. Practice answering questions : http://www.studyzone.org/testprep/ela4/h/mainideap3.cfm
2. More practice below.
3. Post Test:
4. Computer sites for ELA practice:
Skill Wise- What is a sentence game?: http://www.bbc.co.uk/skillswise/words/grammar/sentencebasics/whatisasentence/game.shtml
Mr. Nussbaum's reading games; http://www.mrnussbaum.com/langcode.htm
Anagram Sleuth: http://funschool.kaboose.com/fun-blaster/super-speller/games/game_anagram_sleuth.html?g=as_ds2

1. In china some birds use their saliva to shape their nests. The saliva dries and hardens. It gives the nest a somewhat milky look. The whiter the appearance of the nest, the more it is prized. the chinese sell the birds' nests at high prices. People make a bird's nest sop from them. Bird's nest soup is a favorite food in southeastern Asia.

The story mainly tells:
A. What bird's nest soup tastes like
B. Why chinese value some birds' nests
C. Why birds build nests
D. why nests are white

2. If you shuold feel the ground or floor start to shake beneath your feet and see walls starting to move, you may be caught in an earthquake. If you are inside a building, get under anything that will protect you from a falling ceiling. If you are outside, get away from buildings as fast as you can. An open place is the safest.

The story mainly tells:
A. what to do in case of an earthquake
B. why walls and floors shake
C. What causes earthquakes
D. How to keep safe

3. The brown mole eats almost anything he can find. he tunnels his way through the soil, looking for food. he eats his weight in insects every day. Earthworms are more tasty to the mole than insects are. The mole is among thehungriest of animals. he starves to death if he goes without food for just half a day.

The story mainly tells:
A. Why moles like earthworms best
B. What color moles are
C. How much moles eat
D. Why moles make tunnels

4. If you don't mind the cold and you like to fish, go to La Perade, Quebec, on the Sainte Anne River. There, from Christmas until the middle of february, is the Tommy cod Fishing Festival. The fishermen put their little wooden huts around holes in the ice and drop their lines. Often there aer a thousand or more huts in the little fishing village.

The story mainly tells:
A. Why people like to fish
B. How cold Quebec is during the winter
C What the Tommy cod Fishing festival is like
D. Why people build huts ont he river

5. Some people eat and write with their right hand, even though they were left-handed at one time. Through practice they tended to make greater use of their right hand. One way to find out if you are naturally left-handed is to clasp your hands together quickly. If the hand with the uppermost thumb is your left, you may really lean to left handedness.

The story mainly tells:
A. Why people eat with the right hand.
B. How to see if you were once left handed
C. How to clasp hands
D. why people are left handed.

Math Games: http://faculty.usiouxfalls.edu/arpeterson/computer_lab.htm#fourth