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Paragraph Writing – Main Idea & Details Focus

These free main idea and details resources have been created to help your students develop a main idea and details when writing.

These free resources have been created to help your students develop a main idea and details when writing. 

Teaching children how to write a good paragraph can be a difficult task.  We’ve created this set of lessons to help guide your teaching.

The resources we have created are provided in separate download links below. Click on the title of each resource below to download each item.

Within our collection you will find a main idea and details sort. There are also three recording pages that will make it easier for you differentiate the assignment for your students.

We have provided sorting activities that contain pictures and sentences.

You might also create your own sort using real objects. For example, put a toothbrush, toothpaste and floss into a bag. Pull out the items and have students tell you what the main idea would be.

The resources focus on informational text.

As always, these resources have been created to be a free classroom resource for teachers. You may print and use in your classroom or home.

You may not sell or modify and sell in any way. Please contact us with any questions.

The following main idea resources have been provided:

Main Idea Sorting Cards   A great starting point to help children understand how to categorize items under a main idea.  Print the cards in color and laminate.  We have three different recording pages – this will allow you to differentiate this center for students.  Recording Sheets:   Beginning           Intermediate          Advanced

Sorting Main Ideas & Details   Print in color and laminate these cards.  Students then sort the cards.  Each set includes a main idea and three details.  You may also choose to remove the main idea cards.  Students sort the cards and then must write their own main idea sentence.

All About Me   Students create an outline for a paragraph about themselves.

My Favorite Animal   Students create an outline for a paragraph about their favorite animal.

A Rainy Day   Students create an outline for a paragraph about what they would do on a rainy day.

Paragraph Page    Have students practice turning their outline into a paragraph on this lined page.

If you are looking for additional main idea resources, you might be interested in our main idea collection for small reading groups:
Main Ideas


Joan Brown

Friday 27th of September 2013

Will you be creating any check lists for middle and high school?

Jill & Cathy

Friday 27th of September 2013

Hi Joan! So sorry, but we are elementary school teachers and really want to stay focused on primary and intermediate grades. We did the 7th and 8th grade checklists as a special favor for a good friend, so we wanted to share those with our followers, but we don't currently have any plans to do anything with high school common core.


Sunday 4th of August 2013

Thank you so very much for all the resources you make available.


Friday 26th of July 2013

I have scrolled through this website all day long! I am a reading teacher and I am downloading a ton of stuff! This site is an awesome resource for myself and it will be for other too!!!! Jill S


Tuesday 30th of April 2013

What a great resource! Thanks for sharing.


Tuesday 30th of April 2013

I love this idea! We do a lot of activities like this throughout the year, and the kids really love them!! Great work! :)