The main idea of a story? Funny thing – I started reading when I was two and writing when I was five. My mind went faster than my hands so I just wrote down the first letter of each word on a piece of paper. I could read it back to people, but they couldn’t understand it very well.
It kind of drove my kindergarten teacher nuts, until she figured out what I was doing. She helped me with a few tips and tricks so other people could understand my stories too, LOL!
It is important for children to learn the main idea of a story at a young age. This will help students read more effectively both now and in the future.
Main Idea of a Story for Second Graders
The main idea of a story is what you can retell about it. The main idea tells you what the story is all about. For example, if someone were to ask you what happened in Beauty and the Beast, without reading it, you would say something along the lines of “There’s this girl named Belle who lives with her dad. Then, one day, they go into town or something.”
That’s the main idea of the story – how Belle’s life changes forever when she meets the beast. If someone asked why Belle was held prisoner by the beast, then that would be part of the main idea as well.
The Main Idea of a Story can be one sentence
The main idea of a story can be put into one sentence, whereas the rest is often just details. The main idea is the main part you want to get across when telling someone about it. You don’t want to leave out important details, but they aren’t crucial for your listener to know unless there was some sort of misunderstanding or something similar.
This means that if someone asks what the main idea of Beauty and the Beast is, you wouldn’t say “Well, first she meets this guy named Gaston who thinks he’s amazing at everything.” That’s not really necessary information – it doesn’t tell your listener anything important about Belle or her feelings toward Gaston. Maybe it builds up suspense, but likely not.
Use your own words
You might have noticed that I said “the main idea of a story is what you can retell about it.” That’s another way to think of main ideas in stories – you’re just telling someone else about what happened in the story, but without all the information that’s unnecessary. For example, if someone asked for details on how Belle feels when Gaston starts bragging about himself in Beauty and the Beast, you wouldn’t say “she hates him” because everyone knows she hates Gaston.
Main ideas of a story can be hard to pick out
However, this doesn’t mean main ideas are always obvious or easy to find. Sometimes main ideas are very close to other main ideas or details within the same story, which makes them difficult to tell apart without knowing how they work together. Other main ideas can be inferred from other main ideas or details, but they aren’t stated directly either. Since the main idea is the main part of a story you want to get across when telling someone about it, this means that main ideas may not always be what we think they are.
An example: If I asked you, “What happened in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone (the first Harry Potter book)?” you might say something like “Harry went to Hogwarts and learned magic.” That’s one main idea – how Harry became a wizard and met his friends Ron and Hermione.
If I asked you why Harry goes to Hogwarts instead of another school, then you might say something like “Harry was really smart for his age because he did magic already, but he didn’t know anything about the wizarding world.” This main idea isn’t stated in the book directly – it’s inferred by another main idea.
Main ideas of a story are important to learn
Main ideas are important for children to get to know early on because they will help them find main ideas in other stories easier later on. If you don’t get down main ideas when you’re young, it can be hard to recognize them without knowing all the details of a story first. Main ideas should be made clear so that students can easily tell what the main ideas are and why they’re useful.
The main idea is very similar to an inference or assumption. These three things seem like they could mean almost the same thing, but there is a difference between them that’s important to know.
The main idea is sometimes called the main point of a story. The main idea is also very similar to what we can tell from a story, so it may be helpful for students who need more clarification on main ideas and main points. Additionally, a main idea isn’t necessarily true or false – it’s just an interpretation of a story that teachers use to help students understand the main point behind what they’re learning. Students can often work together to come up with their own main ideas as well.
In fact, main ideas are important for storytelling as well as figuring out other stories. When you think about your favorite stories, try thinking about the main idea first instead of all the details that into them. Main ideas make it easier to think about and remember stories, and main ideas can help you work through other main ideas and main points in your life.
The main idea is almost like a lens that we use to look at a story or information. The main idea changes the way we see things – it helps us understand what’s really important in a situation well enough to retell it later. Main ideas give us new ways of seeing old problems, and main ideas are especially helpful for children who struggle with finding key parts of stories or need more time to process information.
Main ideas don’t always have to do with the plot either! Main ideas can be used when explaining moral lessons, giving descriptions, talking about history, and making plans for the future.
Whew! That is a lot of information to say – it is important to know.
I have a simple worksheet for you today – that helps with this exercise – you can get it here:
I thought it was time to share the Main Idea of a Story with you – it is pretty much for those looking at 2nd Grade English unless you are challenging yourself to go for it earlier.
This should help your young student understand what the main idea of the story is, so it will make them better writers on their own. This is a free printable that I have for your – you can get it here: