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File Name: Document1

3 Guided Practice Main Idea Paragraphs


DIRECTIONS: SAW . Use separate paper if needed.

1. I have two brothers and two sisters. My oldest brothers name is Matthew. My
younger brothers name is Edward. My youngest sisters name is Naomi. My older
sisters name is Sarah.

The main idea of the paragraph is:
a. My oldest brothers name is Matthew.
b. I have two brothers and two sisters.
c. My youngest sisters name is Naomi.
d. My youngest brothers name is Edward.

2. Richard has five baseball posters hanging in his room. He is always watching baseball
on TV. He plays on two different baseball teams. Richard loves baseball.

The main idea of the paragraph is _________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

3. When it snows outside, you can make snow angels. You can also go sledding, which
is a lot of fun. You can slide on the ice. You can make snowballs. There are a lot of
fun things to do when it snows.

The main idea of the paragraph is:
a. When it snows outside, you can make snow angels.
b. You can also go sledding, which is a lot of fun.
c. You can make snowballs.
d. There are a lot of fun things to do when it snows.

4. Vegetables come in many different colors. Broccoli is green. Carrots are orange.
Mushrooms are brown. Eggplants are purple. Beets are red.

The main idea of the paragraph is _________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Name:
Period
Date
__/ 4 POINTS
GOAL
Common Core: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.1; RI3.2; RL3.4;
RI.3.10; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.3.4a; RF.3.4c; CCSS.ELA-
Literacy.W.3.2; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.3.2; CCSS.ELA-
Literacy.L.3.4a; L.3.5b; L.3.6
File Name: Document1

5. Most teenagers and young adults do not know what they want to do for the rest of their lives. It is
a big decision. There are a number of things you can do to narrow the choices. For example you
can take an interest test, do some research on your own about a career, try volunteer work in the
field in which you are interested, or "job-shadow", in which you spend a day with a person who
is working in a field that interests you. These are just a few helpful ideas as you begin to choose
a career.

6. The United States seems to be in love with the idea of going out to eat. Because of this, a real
variety of restaurants has come about specializing in all kinds of foods. McDonald's is the king
of a subgroup of restaurants called fast-food restaurants. Chances are, no matter where you live,
there is a McDonald's restaurant near you. There are even McDonald's in the Soviet Union. Now
McDonald's is trying something new. It is called McDonald's Express and there is a test site in
Peabody, Massachusetts. It is part of a Mobil gas station. This allows you to fill up with gas and
fill up on food at the same time. What will they think of next?
File Name: Document1





3 Student Practice Main Idea Paragraphs
DIRECTIONS: SAW . Use separate paper if needed.

Directions: Read the following paragraphs and circle the main idea of each. Underline the sentence that tells
you the main idea of the paragraph.
7. There are many different ways to get to school. Some children walk to school. Some
children take the bus or the subway. Some children are driven to school by their parents.
Some children ride their bikes to school.

The main idea of this paragraph is:
a. Some children take the bus or subway.
b. Some children are driven to school by their parents.
c. Some children ride their bikes to school.
d. There are many different ways to get to school.

8. My friend has a cat named Leroy. My cousin has a dog named Jake. My neighbor has a
parrot named Michigan. My grandmother has a cat named Dottie and a dog named Skunk.
Many people I know have pets.

The main idea of this paragraph is:
a. My friend has a cat named Leroy.
b. My grandmother has a cat named Dottie and a dog named Skunk.
c. A lot of people I know have pets.
d. My cousin has a dog named Jake.

9. On rainy days, you need to make sure you dress properly. It is important to wear shoes
that keep the rain out. I have a special pair of rain boots. You need to wear a raincoat to
keep the rain off your clothes. It is also important to wear a rain hat or to use an umbrella
to keep your head dry.

The main idea of the paragraph is _________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Name:
Period
Date
__/ 4 POINTS
GOAL
Common Core: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.1; RI3.2; RL3.4;
RI.3.10; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.3.4a; RF.3.4c; CCSS.ELA-
Literacy.W.3.2; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.3.2; CCSS.ELA-
Literacy.L.3.4a; L.3.5b; L.3.6
File Name: Document1

10. On my birthday, my teacher gave me a special birthday sticker. My mom baked me a
special chocolate cake. My brother gave me a special present. My birthday was a very
special day.

The main idea of the paragraph is _________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

11. People often refer to taxes in terms of their being much too high. In reality, they are probably
even higher than you think, because in addition to the federal income tax we are now studying,
there are many other Federal, State, and local taxes, including sales taxes, inheritance taxes, state
income taxes, personal property taxes, real estate taxes, and others. These are just some of the
most obvious ones.

The main idea of the paragraph is _________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

12. The fact that electronic computers are now used for data processing has led the general public to
believe that it is a mysterious, complicated science and that the computers are giant brains. Both
of these ideas are false. A computer is basically just a high-speed adding machine that performs
the functions it is told to. If the input data are varied even a little, the computer is unable to
operate until it is programmed to accept the variations. The business operations it performs are
impressive only because of the extremely high speed of manipulation, but most of these
operations have been used for decades. Unlike man, the computer performs repetitive
calculations without getting tired or bored.

The main idea of the paragraph is _________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

13. The Louisiana Purchase proved to be one of the shrewdest business pacts in the entire history of
the United States. The purchase doubled in the area of the country and provided territory from
which fourteen new states were created either wholly or in part. It also gave us control over the
mouth of the Mississippi River and opened up the way to foreign trade. Prior to the purchase, the
waterway had been blocked by the Spanish, probably with the approval of Napoleon. The land
that was bought was rich in timber, minerals, and natural resources of many kinds. Finally, the
cost of the transaction was unbelievably low; the total of $15 million amounted to about four
cents an acre.

The main idea of the paragraph is _________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________


File Name: Document1

14. There is a common belief that while the dog is mans best friend, the coyote is his worst enemy.
The bad reputation of the coyote traces back to his fondness for small animals; he hunts at night
and is particularly destructive to sheep, young pigs, and poultry. Yet it is sometimes wise to
encourage coyotes. Provided valuable farm animals are protected, the coyote will often free the
property of other animals, like rabbits, which are ruinous to crops and certain trees. He is
especially beneficial in keeping down the rodent population. Where coyotes have been allowed
to do their work without molestation, ranchers and fruit growers have found them so valuable
that they would no more shoot them than they would shoot their dogs.

The main idea of the paragraph is _________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

15. In earlier days those who had overseas business which they believed should be discussed
personally, took ship and set out across the briny deep. Once aboard they transacted their affairs,
engaging in commercial and social matters or conducting government business. Today ships and
passengers continue to sail the seven seas, and airplanes soar overhead. But above them all,
words speed through the sky telephone conversations quickly bring together in the most
personal fashion people who are separated by thousands of miles.

The main idea of the paragraph is _________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________


16. The attitudes of Americans toward gambling are amazingly contradictory. You may find, for
example, that horse racing is legal in your state, but that you cannot legally play poker for money
on your front porch; bookies may be prosecuted by state law, but they are supposed to purchase a
federal license nonetheless; one church condemns gambling, while another raises money by
sponsoring Bingo games. Gambling laws are inconsistent from state to state or even from town
to town and are very difficult to enforce.

The main idea of the paragraph is _________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

File Name: Document1




3 Homework Main Idea Paragraphs
DIRECTIONS: SAW . Use separate paper if needed.

(1) Fire ants are painful and destructive pests. (2) The fire ant earned its name because of its venom. (3) The
insect uses a wasp-like stinger to inject the venom, which causes a painful burning sensation and leaves tiny,
itching pustules. (4) The ants will swarm over anyone or anything that disturbs their nests. (5) In addition to
causing pain, fire ants damage many crops by eating the plants and by protecting other insects that damage
crops. (6) Fire ants are attracted to soybeans, eggplant, corn, okra, strawberries, and potatoes.
1. What is the topic of the passage?
a. Ant bites c. Farming
b. Fire ants d. Pests
2. What does the author want you to know about the topic?
a. Fire ants have a wasp-like stinger. b. Fire ants swarm.
c. Fire ants are pests to farmers. d. Fire ants are painful and pesky.
3. Which sentence contains the main idea?
a. 1 c. 4
b. 2 d. 5
(1) Rosa Parks was an African American woman who worked hard as a seamstress in a department store in the
early 1960s. (2) One day, tired from work, she refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama,
and became a national hero. (3) She was arrested and placed in jail for her refusal to move to the back of the
bus, where African Americans were forced to sit in those days. (4) The way she was treated garnered national
attention. (5) Some people say her refusal to give up her seat launched the civil rights movement. (6) Rosa
Parks proved that one brave person can make a difference.
4. What is the topic of the passage?
a. Rosa Parks c. Brave People
b. Civil Rights d. National Heroes
5. What does the author want you to know about the topic?
a. Rosa Parks was a hard working woman. b. Brave people deserve special attention.
c. Stubborn people always get their way. d. Brave people can make a difference.
Name:
Period
Date
__/ 4 POINTS
GOAL
Common Core: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.1; RI3.2; RL3.4;
RI.3.10; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.3.4a; RF.3.4c; CCSS.ELA-
Literacy.W.3.2; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.3.2; CCSS.ELA-
Literacy.L.3.4a; L.3.5b; L.3.6
File Name: Document1

6. Which sentence contains the main idea?
a. 1 c. 5
b. 2 d. 6
(1) Few of us could swim in the ocean comfortably after seeing filmmaker Steven Spielbergs terrifying movie
Jaws. (2) In his hit movie E.T. the Extraterrestrial, Spielberg created a sweet, funny film about a being from
outer space. (3) In 1985, he gave us The Color Purple, a moving picture about a black family in the South that
earned him a Best Director nomination. (4) Steven Spielberg has created some of the most successful and
popular films of the 1970s and 1980s.
7. Sentence 1 is a
a. Main Idea b. Supporting Detail
8. Sentence 2 is a
a. Main Idea b. Supporting Detail
9. Sentence 3 is a
a. Main Idea b. Supporting Detail
10. Sentence 4 is a
a. Main Idea b. Supporting Detail

Read the following passage. Fill in the chart using information from the paragraph.
Reggae music is a complex mix of message and style. Originating in Jamaica in the 1960s, reggae evolved
from folk music that protested racism and corruption. Reggae also has a religious side that is based on the Bible
from the view of black culture. Some critics say that the serious messages of reggae are easier to accept
because of its powerful dance beat.

The main idea of the paragraph is ___________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

_______________________________________________________________________________

File Name: Document1

Topic:


3 Main Idea Paragraphs Template
DIRECTIONS: SAW . Use separate paper if needed.

Name:
Period
Date
Common Core: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.1; RI3.2; RL3.4;
RI.3.10; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.3.4a; RF.3.4c; CCSS.ELA-
Literacy.W.3.2; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.3.2; CCSS.ELA-
Literacy.L.3.4a; L.3.5b; L.3.6
Topic:
Topic:
Main Idea:
Topic:
File Name: Document1







3 Guided Practice Main Idea Paragraphs [ANSWER KEY]
DIRECTIONS: SAW . Use separate paper if needed.

1. I have two brothers and two sisters. My oldest brothers name is Matthew. My
younger brothers name is Edward. My youngest sisters name is Naomi. My older
sisters name is Sarah.

The main idea of the paragraph is:
a. My oldest brothers name is Matthew.
b. I have two brothers and two sisters.
c. My youngest sisters name is Naomi.
d. My youngest brothers name is Edward.

2. Richard has five baseball posters hanging in his room. He is always watching baseball
on TV. He plays on two different baseball teams. Richard loves baseball.

The main idea of the paragraph is _________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

3. When it snows outside, you can make snow angels. You can also go sledding, which
is a lot of fun. You can slide on the ice. You can make snowballs. There are a lot of
fun things to do when it snows.

The main idea of the paragraph is:
a. When it snows outside, you can make snow angels.
b. You can also go sledding, which is a lot of fun.
c. You can make snowballs.
d. There are a lot of fun things to do when it snows.

4. Vegetables come in many different colors. Broccoli is green. Carrots are orange.
Mushrooms are brown. Eggplants are purple. Beets are red.

The main idea of the paragraph is _________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________
Name:
Period
Date
__/ 4 POINTS
GOAL
Common Core: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.1; RI3.2; RL3.4;
RI.3.10; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.3.4a; RF.3.4c; CCSS.ELA-
Literacy.W.3.2; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.3.2; CCSS.ELA-
Literacy.L.3.4a; L.3.5b; L.3.6
File Name: Document1


File Name: Document1

5. Most teenagers and young adults do not know what they want to do for the rest of their lives. It is
a big decision. There are a number of things you can do to narrow the choices. For example you
can take an interest test, do some research on your own about a career, try volunteer work in the
field in which you are interested, or "job-shadow", in which you spend a day with a person who
is working in a field that interests you. These are just a few helpful ideas as you begin to choose
a career.

6. The United States seems to be in love with the idea of going out to eat. Because of this, a real
variety of restaurants has come about specializing in all kinds of foods. McDonald's is the king
of a subgroup of restaurants called fast-food restaurants. Chances are, no matter where you live,
there is a McDonald's restaurant near you. There are even McDonald's in the Soviet Union. Now
McDonald's is trying something new. It is called McDonald's Express and there is a test site in
Peabody, Massachusetts. It is part of a Mobil gas station. This allows you to fill up with gas and
fill up on food at the same time. What will they think of next?
File Name: Document1



3 Student Practice Main Idea Paragraphs [ANSWER KEY]
DIRECTIONS: SAW . Use separate paper if needed.

Directions: Read the following paragraphs and circle the main idea of each. Underline the sentence that tells
you the main idea of the paragraph.
7. There are many different ways to get to school. Some children walk to school. Some
children take the bus or the subway. Some children are driven to school by their parents.
Some children ride their bikes to school.

The main idea of this paragraph is:
a. Some children take the bus or subway.
b. Some children are driven to school by their parents.
c. Some children ride their bikes to school.
d. There are many different ways to get to school.

8. My friend has a cat named Leroy. My cousin has a dog named Jake. My neighbor has a
parrot named Michigan. My grandmother has a cat named Dottie and a dog named Skunk.
Many people I know have pets.

The main idea of this paragraph is:
a. My friend has a cat named Leroy.
b. My grandmother has a cat named Dottie and a dog named Skunk.
c. A lot of people I know have pets.
d. My cousin has a dog named Jake.

9. On rainy days, you need to make sure you dress properly. It is important to wear shoes
that keep the rain out. I have a special pair of rain boots. You need to wear a raincoat to
keep the rain off your clothes. It is also important to wear a rain hat or to use an umbrella
to keep your head dry.

The main idea of the paragraph is _________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

Name:
Period
Date
__/ 4 POINTS
GOAL
Common Core: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.1; RI3.2; RL3.4;
RI.3.10; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RF.3.4a; RF.3.4c; CCSS.ELA-
Literacy.W.3.2; CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.3.2; CCSS.ELA-
Literacy.L.3.4a; L.3.5b; L.3.6
File Name: Document1

10. On my birthday, my teacher gave me a special birthday sticker. My mom baked me a
special chocolate cake. My brother gave me a special present. My birthday was a very
special day.

The main idea of the paragraph is _________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

11. People often refer to taxes in terms of their being much too high. In reality, they are probably
even higher than you think, because in addition to the federal income tax we are now studying,
there are many other Federal, State, and local taxes, including sales taxes, inheritance taxes, state
income taxes, personal property taxes, real estate taxes, and others. These are just some of the
most obvious ones.

The main idea of the paragraph is _________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

12. The fact that electronic computers are now used for data processing has led the general public to
believe that it is a mysterious, complicated science and that the computers are giant brains. Both
of these ideas are false. A computer is basically just a high-speed adding machine that performs
the functions it is told to. If the input data are varied even a little, the computer is unable to
operate until it is programmed to accept the variations. The business operations it performs are
impressive only because of the extremely high speed of manipulation, but most of these
operations have been used for decades. Unlike man, the computer performs repetitive
calculations without getting tired or bored.

The main idea of the paragraph is _________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

13. The Louisiana Purchase proved to be one of the shrewdest business pacts in the entire history of
the United States. The purchase doubled in the area of the country and provided territory from
which fourteen new states were created either wholly or in part. It also gave us control over the
mouth of the Mississippi River and opened up the way to foreign trade. Prior to the purchase, the
waterway had been blocked by the Spanish, probably with the approval of Napoleon. The land
that was bought was rich in timber, minerals, and natural resources of many kinds. Finally, the
cost of the transaction was unbelievably low; the total of $15 million amounted to about four
cents an acre.

The main idea of the paragraph is _________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________


File Name: Document1

14. There is a common belief that while the dog is mans best friend, the coyote is his worst enemy.
The bad reputation of the coyote traces back to his fondness for small animals; he hunts at night
and is particularly destructive to sheep, young pigs, and poultry. Yet it is sometimes wise to
encourage coyotes. Provided valuable farm animals are protected, the coyote will often free the
property of other animals, like rabbits, which are ruinous to crops and certain trees. He is
especially beneficial in keeping down the rodent population. Where coyotes have been allowed
to do their work without molestation, ranchers and fruit growers have found them so valuable
that they would no more shoot them than they would shoot their dogs.

The main idea of the paragraph is _________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

15. In earlier days those who had overseas business which they believed should be discussed
personally, took ship and set out across the briny deep. Once aboard they transacted their affairs,
engaging in commercial and social matters or conducting government business. Today ships and
passengers continue to sail the seven seas, and airplanes soar overhead. But above them all,
words speed through the sky telephone conversations quickly bring together in the most
personal fashion people who are separated by thousands of miles.

The main idea of the paragraph is _________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________


16. The attitudes of Americans toward gambling are amazingly contradictory. You may find, for
example, that horse racing is legal in your state, but that you cannot legally play poker for money
on your front porch; bookies may be prosecuted by state law, but they are supposed to purchase a
federal license nonetheless; one church condemns gambling, while another raises money by
sponsoring Bingo games. Gambling laws are inconsistent from state to state or even from town
to town and are very difficult to enforce.

The main idea of the paragraph is _________________________________________

_____________________________________________________________________

File Name: Document1



3 Homework Main Idea Paragraphs [ANSWER KEY]
DIRECTIONS: SAW . Use separate paper if needed.

(1) Fire ants are painful and destructive pests. (2) The fire ant earned its name because of its venom. (3) The
insect uses a wasp-like stinger to inject the venom, which causes a painful burning sensation and leaves tiny,
itching pustules. (4) The ants will swarm over anyone or anything that disturbs their nests. (5) In addition to
causing pain, fire ants damage many crops by eating the plants and by protecting other insects that damage
crops. (6) Fire ants are attracted to soybeans, eggplant, corn, okra, strawberries, and potatoes.
1. What is the topic of the passage?
a. Ant bites c. Farming
b. Fire ants d. Pests
2. What does the author want you to know about the topic?
a. Fire ants have a wasp-like stinger. b. Fire ants swarm.
c. Fire ants are pests to farmers. d. Fire ants are painful and pesky.
3. Which sentence contains the main idea?
a. 1 c. 4
b. 2 d. 5
(1) Rosa Parks was an African American woman who worked hard as a seamstress in a department store in the
early 1960s. (2) One day, tired from work, she refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama,
and became a national hero. (3) She was arrested and placed in jail for her refusal to move to the back of the
bus, where African Americans were forced to sit in those days. (4) The way she was treated garnered national
attention. (5) Some people say her refusal to give up her seat launched the civil rights movement. (6) Rosa
Parks proved that one brave person can make a difference.
4. What is the topic of the passage?
a. Rosa Parks c. Brave People
b. Civil Rights d. National Heroes
5. What does the author want you to know about the topic?
a. Rosa Parks was a hard working woman. b. Brave people deserve special attention.
c. Stubborn people always get their way. d. Brave people can make a difference.
6. Which sentence contains the main idea?
File Name: Document1

a. 1 c. 5
b. 2 d. 6
(1) Few of us could swim in the ocean comfortably after seeing filmmaker Steven Spielbergs terrifying movie
Jaws. (2) In his hit movie E.T. the Extraterrestrial, Spielberg created a sweet, funny film about a being from
outer space. (3) In 1985, he gave us The Color Purple, a moving picture about a black family in the South that
earned him a Best Director nomination. (4) Steven Spielberg has created some of the most successful and
popular films of the 1970s and 1980s.
7. Sentence 1 is a
a. Main Idea b. Supporting Detail
8. Sentence 2 is a
a. Main Idea b. Supporting Detail
9. Sentence 3 is a
a. Main Idea b. Supporting Detail
10. Sentence 4 is a
a. Main Idea b. Supporting Detail

Read the following passage. Fill in the chart using information from the paragraph.
Reggae music is a complex mix of message and style. Originating in Jamaica in the 1960s, reggae evolved
from folk music that protested racism and corruption. Reggae also has a religious side that is based on the Bible
from the view of black culture. Some critics say that the serious messages of reggae are easier to accept
because of its powerful dance beat.

The main idea of the paragraph is Reggae music is a complex mix of message and style