Identify an Unstated Main Idea

Comprehension Lessons »

Explain Discuss how identifying the main ideas and supporting details can help students summarize a passage. Write this information on the board: Sea turtles get caught in the nets of fishing boats. Many are hit by speedboats or other ships. Sea turtles are also hunted for their shells. Read the sentences with students. Tell them that they will be identifying the details and the unstated main idea of the paragraph.

Guided Practice Say: You can usually find the main idea of a passage, even if it is not directly stated, by summarizing the details that are given. Let’s summarize the most important details on the board. (Sea turtles get caught in fishing boat nets. Many are hit by speedboats or other ships. Sea turtles are hunted for their shells.) The main idea of this passage seems to be that sea turtles face many dangers.

Practice Write this statement on the board: People can help sea turtles. Tell students this is a main idea that has been stated. Ask students to brainstorm sentences that give more information to support the main idea and write the details on the board. (Possible answers: Fishing boat crews can carefully remove turtles from their nets and return them to the ocean. Speedboats can watch for turtles and avoid hitting them. People can stop hunting the turtles for their shells.)