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Main idea and theme

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Ms. Bayadsy's class

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Main idea and theme

  1. 1. Main Idea and Theme How do I determine the main idea and theme of a reading passage? 10/14/11
  2. 2. <ul><li>Did you get a chance to tell someone what the movie is about? </li></ul><ul><li>Take a moment and jot down what the movie is about. </li></ul><ul><li>You just gave the main idea of the movie. </li></ul>10/14/11
  3. 3. Why Some People are Left-Handed and Some People are Right-Handed <ul><li>Take a moment to re-read the story. </li></ul><ul><li>As you read, think about how you would answer the question “What are the main idea and theme of the story?” </li></ul>10/14/11
  4. 4. Main Idea <ul><li>Main Idea-what something is mostly about </li></ul>10/14/11
  5. 5. Tip 1: As soon as you finish reading, tell yourself what the passage is mostly about <ul><li>Main ideas are not always stated directly </li></ul><ul><li>Most of the time, you’ll have to put them in your own words. </li></ul>10/14/11
  6. 6. Let’s practice Tip #1 <ul><li>On your sheet, write one to two sentences that answer the following question: </li></ul><ul><li>What is the main idea of the story “Why Some People are Left-Handed and Some People are Right Handed”? </li></ul>10/14/11
  7. 7. Now, when answering multiple-choice questions about main idea… <ul><li>Tip 2: Find the answer choice that is closest to your statement of the main idea </li></ul>10/14/11
  8. 8. <ul><li>When taking a reading test, you will almost always see a question about main idea, so be prepared to think about the main idea with everything you read. </li></ul><ul><li>Then look for the answer that is the closest to the statement that you made about main idea. </li></ul>10/14/11
  9. 9. Let’s practice Tip # 2 <ul><li>What is “Why Some People are Left-Handed and Some People are Right-Handed” mostly about? </li></ul><ul><li>A. A man follows a rhinoceros trail. </li></ul><ul><li>B. A wise man kills a giant eagle which contains the bones of the people of a village. </li></ul><ul><li>C. Grinding corn makes the eagle come. </li></ul>10/14/11
  10. 10. Tip 3: Don't mistake a detail for a main idea. <ul><li>Detail- a small part of the larger, whole passage. </li></ul><ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><li>The people of the village sacrificed three oxen. </li></ul><ul><li>The eagle was as big at 11 houses. </li></ul>10/14/11
  11. 11. Tip 3: Don't mistake a detail for a main idea. <ul><li>**Test questions about main idea usually include answer choices that are just details from the passage </li></ul>10/14/11
  12. 12. Tip 3: Continued <ul><li>Which of the answers are just details from the story? </li></ul><ul><li>A. A man follows a rhinoceros trail. </li></ul><ul><li>B. A wise man kills a giant eagle which contains the bones of the people of a village. </li></ul><ul><li>C. Grinding corn makes the eagle come. </li></ul>10/14/11
  13. 13. Tip 4: Test questions about the title are questions about the main idea. <ul><li>You may see questions such as, “Why was the passage given this title?” or “What would be another good title for this passage?” </li></ul><ul><li>These are main idea questions in disguise. </li></ul><ul><li>A good title gives you clues about the main idea. </li></ul>10/14/11
  14. 14. Let’s Practice Tip # 4 <ul><li>Which of the following would be another good title for this story? </li></ul><ul><li>A. “The Giant Eagle” </li></ul><ul><li>B. “The King’s Daughter” </li></ul><ul><li>C. “How to mill rice” </li></ul><ul><li>D. “Three Buffaloes” </li></ul>10/14/11
  15. 15. Tip 5: Think about the theme of the passage. <ul><li>Theme is the lesson or message that the writer wants to get across in his or her story. </li></ul><ul><li>Themes usually relate to life or the way the world works. </li></ul>10/14/11
  16. 16. <ul><li>To find the theme, ask yourself: What lesson did the main character in the story learn or fail to learn? </li></ul><ul><li>Theme questions may be worded these ways: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the theme of the passage? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the moral of this story? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What lesson is the author trying to teach? </li></ul></ul>10/14/11
  17. 17. <ul><li>Common themes : </li></ul><ul><li>Too much pride can destroy a person </li></ul><ul><li>Crime does not pay </li></ul><ul><li>Don’t judge people until you have seen life from their point of view </li></ul><ul><li>It is better to tell the truth than to lie </li></ul>10/14/11
  18. 18. Let’s Practice Tip # 5 <ul><li>Which sentence best states the theme of “Why Some People are Left-Handed”? </li></ul><ul><li>A. Planning ahead can save a lot of work later. </li></ul><ul><li>B. True friends are with you even in the worst times. </li></ul><ul><li>C. The things you own can never make you happy. </li></ul><ul><li>D. Be respectful of the gods and good will win. </li></ul>10/14/11
  19. 19. Summing Up: <ul><li>As soon as you finish reading, tell yourself what the passage is mostly about. </li></ul><ul><li>Find the answer choice that is closest to your statement of the main idea. </li></ul>10/14/11
  20. 20. <ul><li>Don’t mistake a detail for a main idea. </li></ul><ul><li>Test questions about the title are questions about the main idea. </li></ul><ul><li>Summarize what the author says. </li></ul><ul><li>Think about the theme of the passage. </li></ul>10/14/11
  21. 21. The End!! 10/14/11

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