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Third Grade (Grade 3) Main Idea Questions

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Grade 3 Main Idea
Benjamin Franklin grew up in Boston. He worked in his brother's print shop for four years, from 1718 to 1722. He quit school and started working when he was only 12 years old. In a way, working as a printer was almost as good as going to school. Ben read a lot and learned a lot. Ben was smarter than his brother and he was a better printer, too. Ben's brother wanted him to work for him until Ben was 21, but Ben had other ideas. He ran away to Philadelphia when he was 17.

What is the main idea?
  1. Benjamin Franklin grew up in Boston.
  2. Benjamin Franklin had a job in a printing press that helped him learn a lot of things.
  3. Benjamin Franklin was smarter than his brother.
Grade 3 Main Idea
Which word means to retell the main idea of a story?
  1. cause
  2. summarize
  3. effect
  4. theme
Grade 3 Main Idea CCSS: CCRA.R.2, RI.3.2
Every morning when I get up I eat breakfast, brush my teeth, comb my hair, get dressed and make my bed. After that, it is my job to feed the dog in the morning. Then, I can read or play until it is time to walk to school.

The main topic of this passage is:
  1. What time I eat breakfast
  2. How my brother helps me get ready for school
  3. My morning activities
  4. Riding the bus to school
Grade 3 Main Idea CCSS: CCRA.R.2, RL.3.2
Max and Nan were friends. They played together every afternoon. They played ball. They played tag. They got along very well -- just the two of them.

One day Max and Nan were playing outside. They saw a little boy watching them. They wished he would go away.

"Who are you?" asked Nan. "What are you doing here?"

"My name is Ben," the boy said. "My family just moved in next door."

Max looked at Nan. Nan looked at Max. Then they both smiled.

"Would you like to play ball with us?" Max asked.

After that, Max and Nan and Ben were friends. They got along very well - just the three of them.

Who is this story MOSTLY about?
  1. Ben
  2. Max and Nan
  3. A new family next door
  4. How three kids became friends
Grade 3 Main Idea
Every night the moon looks a little different. This is because as the moon moves around the earth, sunlight shines on different parts of the moon. The part of the moon that the sunlight is shining on is the part of the moon we see. The moon goes through four main stages. The first quarter moon, full moon, third quarter moon, and new moon are the four stages. It takes about 29 days for the moon to finish all the stages. If it is a clear night, look in the sky. You will find the moon in one of its stages.

This passage is mainly about
  1. why the moon looks different every night.
  2. why the earth moves around the sun.
  3. how the sun can be seen in the evening.
  4. how the moon is different from the sun.
Grade 3 Main Idea
Football is an exciting team sport. It is played mostly in the United States and Canada. It is also called American football. The term “football” is used for other team sports around the world. For example, “football” in most countries is what the United States calls “soccer.”

In the United States, football is played by two teams. There are 11 players on the field for each team. Each team tries to score points by running or passing plays. The players move an oval-shaped ball across the other team’s goal line. This scores a touchdown. During a game, the ball goes back and forth between the teams. The team with the ball is called the offense. The other team is the defense. The defense tries to keep the offense from scoring.

This passage is mainly about:
  1. American football.
  2. playing soccer.
  3. Canadian sports.
  4. playing offense.
Grade 3 Main Idea CCSS: CCRA.R.2, RL.3.2
Playing Games

Patty loves to play games. Her favorite game is chess because it requires a great deal of thought. Patty also likes to play less demanding board games that are based mostly on luck. She prefers Monopoly because it requires luck and skill. if she's alone, Patty likes to play action video games as long as they aren't too violent.

Why do you think this story has the title "Playing Games?"
  1. It tells about playing games.
  2. It tells you how to play Monopoly.
  3. It tells you about how hard different games are to play.
  4. It tells about games Patty likes to play.
Grade 3 Main Idea CCSS: CCRA.R.2, RI.3.2
Amelia Earhart is famous for being the first woman to fly an airplane across the Atlantic Ocean. She was born in 1897 and saw her first airplane at the Iowa state fair at age 10. Although she studied to be a nurse and then a social worker, she was always interested in flight.

She started taking flying lessons in 1921 and then bought her first plane. Since the aircraft was bright yellow, she called it Canary. In 1928, Earhart flew from Canada to Wales, crossing the Atlantic Ocean in only 21 hours. When she returned to the United States, a parade was held in her honor.

She crossed the Atlantic again in 1932, this time by herself. After this accomplishment, the U.S. Congress gave her a special medial called the Distinguished Flying Cross. Earhart continued to set new records, and in 1937 she decided to fly around the world. Her plan was lost over the Pacific Ocean, and Earhart was never heard from again.

What is the main idea?
  1. Amelia Earhart flew around the world.
  2. Amelia Earhart was a brave woman who flew airplanes.
  3. Amelia Earhart had a yellow plane called Canary.
  4. Amelia Earhart flew from Canada to Wales.
Grade 3 Main Idea
Today, people know how to take care of their teeth. Long ago, people's teeth would hurt and rot away as people got older. If someone had tooth pain, then the tooth got pulled out. Finally, people realized that they needed to clean their teeth. They just did not know the right tools to use. There was no toothpaste. So, people used lemon juice, ashes, or ground-up chalk. Sometimes, people would even clean their teeth with a mix of tobacco and honey. About 100 years ago, someone made a minty cream to clean teeth.

After a minty cream for teeth was introduced, the toothpaste tube was made to hold it. This allowed people to squeeze the paste onto their toothbrushes. During World War II, the army gave all the soldiers a toothbrush. At this time, tubes of toothpaste were made with metal. Today, they are made of soft plastic. This makes them much easier to squeeze. Now, shoppers can find many different kinds of toothpastes. People can choose different flavors and colors. There are even different types of toothpaste tubes.

Which of the following supports the main idea of the second paragraph?
  1. The toothpaste tube made it easier to get the toothpaste out.
  2. Today, there are so many different kinds of toothpastes people can buy.
  3. People learned that cleaning their teeth was very important.
  4. Toothpaste did not always have a minty flavor to it.
Grade 3 Main Idea
People do not usually think about spiders when they think about endangered species. Endangered species are animals that are in danger of dying out. Spiders are small and have lots of babies. People think that this means that they cannot die out. This is not true. One endangered spider is the Kauai cave wolf spider. It is only found in a few caves on an island of Hawaii. This spider's main kind of food is hard to find. This is one of the reasons why there are so few of these spiders. Another reason is that the female might lay as few as fifteen eggs at a time. Most female wolf spiders lay many more eggs at a time. Many other spiders are endangered for the same reason.

What is the main idea of this paragraph?
  1. Many people believe that because spiders are small they cannot be endangered species.
  2. The Kauai cave wolf spider is found in only in a few caves located a on the island of Kauai.
  3. Some spiders are endangered because they do not have enough food or lay enough eggs.
  4. Unlike the Kauai cave wolf spider, most female wolf spiders lay dozens of eggs at one time.
Grade 3 Main Idea CCSS: CCRA.R.2, RI.3.2
Weather reporters have to give out a lot of information. That's why they use pictures. The pictures help them tell us about the weather without using so many words. Weather reporters need to know where the cold air is. They need to know where the warm air is. They have to know where it is raining and what types of clouds are in the area. Their reports need to be correct, but they also need to be short. The pictures help weather reporters get the information out in a fast way.

Which sentence best describes the main idea of the paragraph?
  1. Weather reporters need to know where the cold air is
  2. Pictures help weather reporters get information out in a fast way.
  3. Their reports need to be correct, but they also need to be short.
  4. They have to know where it is raining and what types of clouds are in the area.
Grade 3 Main Idea
Cairo, Egypt, is an amazing city. It is the largest city in Africa. It is on the banks of the Nile River. The Nile is the longest river in the world. Many people visit the city every year. Most of the people come to see the Pyramids of Giza. Some people will even ride their first camel in Cairo. Some visitors will take a boat ride down the Nile River. The city even has places that show how paper was first made. This paper is called papyrus. There is so much to learn about in Cairo.

Which best describes the main idea of the passage?
  1. The Nile River runs through Cairo.
  2. The Pyramids of Giza are in Cairo.
  3. Many people live in Cairo.
  4. Cairo is an amazing city.
Grade 3 Main Idea CCSS: CCRA.R.5, RL.3.5

This question is a part of a group with common instructions. View group »

What is the purpose of the first paragraph of this passage?
  1. To explain why groundhogs are used
  2. To show that Punxsutawney Phil is one of many groundhogs
  3. To describe why Groundhog Day became famous
  4. To introduce readers to another famous groundhog
Grade 3 Main Idea
Reading more slowly helps you notice details, key words, or other clues the author uses in comparing and contrasting.
  1. True
  2. False
Grade 3 Main Idea CCSS: CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.5, RI.3.2, RI.3.5
Read paragraph 3 from Learning to Be a Clown.

Clown College did not charge a fee to students . When Clown College first started, classes were six days a week and lasted for thirteen weeks. Students wore baggy pants and giant shoes to class. The learned to juggle, walk on stilts, and ride unicycles. They learned how to balance, to fall, correctly, and how to clown around. They even learned how to put on makeup and costumes.

What is the main idea of this paragraph?
  1. Clown college was free for it's students.
  2. Students in clown college wore funny clothes.
  3. Learning to become a clown is demanding and takes physical skill.
  4. Students in clown college must wear makeup
Grade 3 Main Idea CCSS: CCRA.R.3, RI.3.3

This question is a part of a group with common instructions. View group »

Which word BEST describes Rosa Parks?
  1. shy
  2. lazy
  3. friendly
  4. courageous
Grade 3 Main Idea CCSS: CCRA.R.2, RI.3.2

This question is a part of a group with common instructions. View group »

Which choice best shows the main idea of this passage?
  1. Rosa Parks gave up her seat on a bus.
  2. Rosa Parks grew up in Tuskegee, Alabama.
  3. Rosa Parks lived on a farm with her mother and grandparents.
  4. Rosa Parks was an important part of the Civil Rights Movement.
Grade 3 Main Idea CCSS: CCRA.R.2, RI.3.2

This question is a part of a group with common instructions. View group »

What is the main purpose of the passage?
  1. To give a detailed explanation of how leaves change color in the fall
  2. To offer a brief explanation of how weather has an effect on the changing colors of the leaves
  3. To explain why people like to look at leaves in the fall
  4. To describe a magical process by which leaves change color
Grade 3 Main Idea CCSS: CCRA.R.2, RI.3.2

This question is a part of a group with common instructions. View group »

What is the main point of the passage?
  1. Scientists think Usain Bolt is the fastest human in the world.
  2. Cheetahs will always run faster than humans.
  3. Humans have the ability to run up to 40 miles per hour.
  4. Most humans can only run 8.5 miles per hour.
Grade 3 Main Idea CCSS: CCRA.R.2, RI.3.2
When a person decides to get a dog, he or she has many kinds to choose from. As a rule, short-haired dogs are best for cities. Beagles, Boston Terriers, and Dachshunds make good city pets. Great Danes are short-haired, too. However, they are too big for city living. It is hard in a city to give them all the exercise they need. Setters, Springer Spaniels, and Collies are especially good as country dogs.

What is the main idea of this passage?
  1. Dogs are good pets.
  2. Some dogs are better than others for city life.
  3. There are many kinds of dogs.
  4. Short-haired dogs are better for cities
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