Notes

This printable supports Common Core ELA Standards CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.2, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.1

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Finding Main Idea (Grade 3)

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Finding Main Idea

1. 
Corn was first grown by Native Americans. They showed the pilgrims how to grow corn as food. At one time corn was used as money by pioneers. Corn is used as feed for farm animals. People also eat it as a vegetable. Oil, starch, and sugar can be made from corn. Corn is also important in industry. Medicine, paper, fertilizer, and glue can be made from corn and corn products.

Choose an appropriate topic sentence for this paragraph:
  1. Native Americans were the first to grow corn.
  2. Corn was used instead of money.
2. 
Getting a New School

They are building a new school near my house. Every day I watch the workers drive huge tractors and push a ton of dirt. They have big cranes that help them place tall beams in the ground. The workers build walls using bricks. Every day it looks more and more like a school. Mom says I will go there in the fall.

Why do you think this story is called "Getting a New School?"
  1. Because a tractor can move a lot of dirt.
  2. Because big cranes help put tall beams in place.
  3. Because school walls are made with bricks.
  4. Because a new school is being built.
3. 
Someday we will all have robots that will be our personal servants. They will look and behave much like real humans. We will be able to talk to these mechanical helpers and they will be able to respond in kind! Amazingly, the robots of the future will be able to learn from experience. They will be smart, strong, and untiring workers whose only goal will be to make our lives easier.

What is this selection mainly about?
  1. Someday we will have robots that will be our personal servants.
  2. We will be able to talk to robots and they will be able to respond.
  3. Robots will look and behave much like real humans.
  4. Amazingly, the robots of the future will be able to learn from experience.
4. 
You can learn a lot about people by simply watching or talking to them. Looking at the floor can also give you information about people. You can tell where people walk most frequently because of the worn carpet. The next time you're riding in someone's car, notice the music on the radio. The kind of music played on the radio station can tell you a lot about that person.

Choose an appropriate topic sentence for this paragraph:
  1. There are many ways to learn where people walk.
  2. There are many ways to learn about people.
  3. There are many ways to listen to the radio.
  4. There are many ways to watch people.
5. 
Is there a hairy monster in the Pacific Northwest? Some people think so. They say it lives in the mountains. They call it "Bigfoot." No one knows for sure if Bigfoot is real. Hundreds of people say they have seen the monster, and many more claim to have seen its huge footprints. Reports state that Bigfoot looks like an ape. It doesn't run, but it walks very fast. Bigfoot is said to be a fast swimmer as well. Reports of the strange Bigfoot make the monster an interesting puzzle.


What is the main idea?
  1. The Pacific Northwest is a nice place to visit.
  2. Bigfoot looks like an ape.
  3. Bigfoot is still a mystery.
  4. Bigfoot's physical features
6. 
Someday we will all have robots that will be our personal servants. They will look and behave much like real humans. We will be able to talk to these mechanical helpers and they will be able to respond in kind. Amazingly, the robots of the future will be able to learn from experience. They will be smart, strong, and untiring workers whose only goal will be to make our lives easier.

Which sentence from the paragraph expresses the main idea?
  1. Someday we will all have robots that will be our personal servants.
  2. We will be able to talk to these mechanical helpers and they will be able to respond in kind.
  3. They will look and behave much like real humans.
  4. Amazingly, the robots of the future will be able to learn from experience.
7. 
Joey ran down the field kicking the soccer ball. He got close to the goal and kicked as hard as he could. The goalie caught the ball and threw it back out. Joey knew he would try again soon.

What is the main idea of this passage?
  1. You can't use your hands in soccer.
  2. Joey is trying to score a goal.
8. 
What does the term "main idea" mean?
  1. Where a story takes place
  2. Who the story is about
  3. What the story is mostly about
  4. How to make something
9. 
Joey ran down the field kicking the soccer ball. He got close to the goal and kicked as hard as he could. The goalie caught the ball and threw it back out. Joey knew he would try again soon.

The main idea of this passage is "Joey is trying to score a goal." Which of the following supports the main idea?
  1. He got close to the goal and kicked as hard as he could.
  2. Joey liked playing soccer.
10. 
Yesterday was my birthday. When I woke up, I noticed my brother Josh hung up a big sign that said,"Happy Birthday, Charles!" Mom made spaghetti for dinner.
It's my favorite food in the whole world. My friend Dave came over and handed me a wrapped gift. I wondered what it was. It was a new basketball! I had a great day.

What is the main idea of this paragraph?
  1. Josh got lots of gifts
  2. Charles got a lot of gifts
  3. Charles had a great birthday
  4. Josh had a great birthday

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