Main Idea 1
Main Idea 2
Main Idea 3
Main Idea 4
Main Idea 5
100

Steel is a very important metal which is used for many things. In the the United States the automobile industry uses the most steel. Steel is used in putting up buildings. Cans and containers are made from steel. Steel is used to make farm and factory machines. 

What is the Main Idea?

Steel is used for many purposes. 

100

My dog is called Buttons and he learns new tricks really quickly. When I say “Hands”, he will give me one of his front paws. He can even walk on two legs when I tell him to. It only took me three days to teach him these tricks. I don’t think other dogs can learn as quickly as Buttons. He is the best. 

What is the main idea?

a. My dog is not clever.

b. My dog is the smartest dog!

 c. I wish I can be a good dog trainer.

b. My dog is the smartest dog!

100

Eric gripped the bat in his hands. His palms were sweaty but he took a deep breath as he stepped up to the plate. He had to score a run or his team would lose the game. When the pitcher threw a fastball, Eric’s reflexes took over and he heard the “Crack!” of the bat hitting the ball. His heart raced with excitement as he ran to first base. He was safe! 

The main idea of this passage is:

 A. Eric plays baseball. 

B. Eric scores a homerun. 

C. How to play baseball. 

D. Eric overcomes his nerves and makes it to first base.

D. Eric overcomes his nerves and makes it to first base.

100

Pizza is served in many school cafeterias in the United States on a daily basis, but it is actually still relatively new to the country. Pizza first arrived in the United States with Italian immigrants during the late 1800s. It was popular in cities that had a large concentration of citizens that had Italian roots. It remained relatively unpopular nationally for several decades until the end of World War II. Many American soldiers that had been stationed in Italy during the war enjoyed eating pizza on a regular basis there and when they returned to the United States, they wanted to continue to have access to it. Pizza then enjoyed a boost in popularity and soon went from being a food primarily consumed by Italian immigrants to one of the most popular foods in the country 

 What is the central idea of the passage? 

a. Pizza came to the United Sates in the late 1800s and was not very popular.

b. Pizza was only popular among Italian immigrants.

 c. Pizza was introduced to the U.S. in the late 1800s and became popular after WWII.

 c. Pizza was introduced to the U.S. in the late 1800s and became popular after WWII.

100

Daylight saving time is observed in many different places throughout the world including the United States, Canada, Australia and many countries in Europe. Countries began temporarily switching to daylight saving time during World War I and World War II. The rationale behind the move was that people would use less resources such as coal, if it stayed lighter outside later in the day. In the United States, the permanent adoption of daylight saving time occurred in 1966, but not every state participates. The actual resource saving benefits of the time change are inconclusive, but many people do enjoy the extra daylight after work or school. 

1. What is the central idea of the passage?

 a. Daylight saving time began temporarily, but is now used in many countries. 

b. Daylight saving time was popular when it started.

 c. In the United States, daylight saving time began in 1966.

 Daylight saving time began temporarily, but is now used in many countries.

200

You learn about Science, Math, Art and many other subject areas. The school has a lot of books for you to read. The teachers create fun activities to make learning fun. There are also a lot of other kids here, who you can become friends with to study together.

What is the main idea? 

School is a great place to learn.

200

I always have trouble flying a kite. For a kite to fly, the weather needs to be good and windy. If there is no wind, the kite will never fly. You need to find a spacious place to fly your kite. It is dangerous to fly your kite near roads, power lines or an airport. 

What is the main idea? 

a. Flying kites is hard.

b. Kites can break easily. 

c. It is dangerous to fly a kite.

a. Flying kites is hard.

200

Homemade pizza is delicious. First, make the dough from flour, water, and yeast. After that, begin making the tomato sauce. Next, add any vegetables you like. Then, bake it in the oven. After a short time, the kitchen begins to smell delicious. Soon, it’s ready to eat! 

The main idea of this passage is: 

a. Pizza is made from flour 

b. How to make homemade pizza 

c. Pizza is easy to make 

d. Pizza makes the kitchen smell delicious

 b. How to make homemade pizza

200

Chances are very good that you’ve watched a video on YouTube®. It is one of the most popular websites in the world and is the default site to go to when someone wants to share a video. YouTube was founded in 2005 by three men who worked for a different web company. The very first video showed one of the founders at the zoo. YouTube grew quickly throughout the following year and was purchased by Google® for $1.65 billion in stock in 2006. Since then, YouTube has continued to grow. Now, many people create their own unique content for YouTube. People can actually become quite famous on YouTube and some can even make a career out of it. The impact that YouTube has had on the world is remarkable considering that it was only established in 2005. 

1. What is the central idea of today’s passage? 

a. YouTube is a very popular website. 

b. YouTube was founded in 2005 and has created jobs for some. 

c. YouTube was founded in 2005 and has grown significantly since.

c. YouTube was founded in 2005 and has grown significantly since.

200

Metaphors are a common example of figurative language that students are exposed to as early as elementary school. At that level, metaphors are often taught as the companion to the simile, which is a comparison of two unlike things using like or as, while the metaphor is a comparison that does not use like or as. As students begin to read increasingly challenging texts, they run into more complicated metaphors. Simple metaphors transition to more challenging examples of figurative language that are sometimes difficult for students to identify and understand. The extended metaphor is a longer metaphor that builds throughout multiple sentences or paragraphs. 

 What is the central idea of today’s passage? 

a. Students are introduced to metaphors in elementary school. 

b. Metaphors are very similar to similes, but are not the same. 

c. Metaphors are comparisons and can be complicated.

c. Metaphors are comparisons and can be complicated.

300

You can go swimming, diving and even build your dream house using sand. If you don’t like any of those activities, you can play volleyball with your friends. Another good thing to do on the beach is to lie down on the sand and sunbathe. You will get a nice tan. What is the main idea?

The beach is the perfect place to have fun and relax.

300

I can't wait until this weekend! We’re going to my grandparents’ house and my entire family will be there. I will spend most of my time playing games with my cousins. We always have such a good time together! The day goes by so fast, and by the end we are all exhausted... but we still don’t want to leave! 

The main idea of this passage is: 

A. Weekends are times to travel. 

B. The writer enjoys spending time with family. 

C. The writer’s grandparents live far away. 

D. The writer is sad to leave her cousins.

B. The writer enjoys spending time with family.

300

If you are feeling sad, you can make yourself feel better by doing a few simple things. You can take a walk (or get another form of exercise), you can talk to a friend, or you can write down your feelings. Writing down the good things in your life will help too. Doing something good for someone else will also help you feel better. If you still feel a little sad, act happy. It works like magic to make you feel better! 

The main idea of this passage is: 

a. Sometimes people feel sad 

b. You should do good things for others 

c. We’re not always happy 

d. There are many ways to make yourself feel better

d. There are many ways to make yourself feel better

300

The first ukuleles were developed in Hawaii in the 1800s, as a result of Portuguese influence. Native Hawaiians enjoyed music from a Portuguese instrument called the machete and adapted it to suit Hawaiian tastes. The ukulele soon spread to mainland America during the 1910s, where it became an immediate sensation. They quickly became very popular because they could be quickly and cheaply made from a small amount of wood. After the World Wars, plastic ukuleles revitalized the declining ukulele fad by making them even more affordable to the average American. Today, ukuleles are still enjoyed by many enthusiasts and come in a wide variety of shapes and sounds.

What is the central idea of today’s passage? 

a. Plastic ukuleles are important classical instruments. 

b. Ukuleles developed in Hawaii and are still popular today. 

c. Portuguese instruments inspired the ukulele.

b. Ukuleles developed in Hawaii and are still popular today.

300

For hopeful professional football players, the prospect of being drafted can seem overwhelming because the odds are often against them. One way for players to stand out is to be in top physical condition. Potential football players have to be able to show coaches their power and abilities. Athletes have to show how strong and fast they are and should be able to show coaches and scouts the ways they can take advantage of their size. Opportunities for athletes to showcase their abilities include the 40-yard dash and the vertical jump. The vertical jump requires players to jump from a standing position and some top athletes can jump over 40 inches. 

What is the central idea of today’s passage? 

a. It is difficult to become a professional football player. 

b. The vertical jump is a challenging task that involves jumping after standing still. 

c. Hopeful football players have to be in peak physical shape.

c. Hopeful football players have to be in peak physical shape.

400

During recess, I always go to the library because there are a lot of amazing books there. I love reading. As it is quiet, it lets me concentrate and think about different things. The librarian is really nice and friendly too. She gives me candies all the time. What is the main idea?

The library is my favorite place.

400

Wilbur and Orville Wright were brothers who were inventors, even from a young age when they built kites and bicycles. Many people credit the Wright Brothers with designing and building the first successful airplane. In 1903, their first flight only lasted 12 seconds, but it continues to inspire people all over the world to learn about science and math, to work hard to realize their dreams, and to use imagination to achieve success. The main idea of this passage is: 

A. The Wright Brothers worked hard. 

B. The Wright Brothers were inventors who have inspired many people. 

C. Inventors build kites and bicycles. 

D. The first flight was in 1903.

B. The Wright Brothers were inventors who have inspired many people

400

Did you know that giraffes are the tallest animals in the world? They are unique in other ways, too. For one thing, they sleep only about 20 minutes each day, and usually not more than five minutes at a time. (They have to remain alert for predators.) Also, every giraffe’s coat is unique, and varies in color from white to nearly black, depending on what they eat and where they live. 

The main idea of this passage is: 

a. Giraffes don’t sleep very much. 

b. Giraffes are unique animals.

c. There are many animals in the world. 

d. No animal is taller than a giraffe.

b. Giraffes are unique animals.

400

Advances in technology and meteorology have led to more accurate forecasting of hurricanes days in advance of landfall. Those forecasts have likely saved countless lives, as people are able to prepare or evacuate. Unfortunately, those forecasts were not available to the victims of the 1900 Galveston Hurricane. Four days before the storm hit Galveston, Texas, the National Weather Service sent out an alert that a tropical storm had hit Cuba, but there were no real concerns about it making landfall in Galveston. There were isolated warnings that the hurricane was headed for Texas, but the warnings were ignored because of the calm weather at the time. The storm made landfall on September 8, and in addition to strong winds, a high storm surge covered the island in seawater, which destroyed thousands of buildings and caused many deaths. 

What is the central idea of today’s passage? 

a. A better warning system could have saved lives during the 1900 Galveston Hurricane. 

b. People ignored the warnings in 1900. 

c. The Galveston Hurricane was the deadliest storm.

 a. A better warning system could have saved lives during the 1900 Galveston Hurricane.

400

When the internet first became popular in the United States, Wi-Fi was not an option. Computers all across the country used phone lines to connect to the internet, which was known as dial-up internet. In hindsight, there were lots of problems with dial-up internet, but at the time it was the only option many people had to access the internet. Dial-up internet required an open phone line, so if someone’s parents were on the phone, then getting on the internet to do homework would have to wait. When someone called, the internet connection was often lost. Once internet service became popular, a lot of people had trouble connecting and would have to wait to log on to the internet. While there were many drawbacks to dial-up internet, the benefits outweighed them at the time. 

What is the central idea of today’s passage? 

a. Wireless internet is popular today. 

b. Dial-up internet had its flaws, but was still useful.

 c. There were many downsides to dial-up internet.

c. There were many downsides to dial-up internet.

500

Inside the volcano, there are hot liquid rocks called magma. It becomes lava when it comes out of the volcano. The lava that flows out of some volcanoes can reach up to 1100 degrees. It’s hot enough to burn you and in some cases, it can kill you. Other than lava, gases coming out of the volcano are poisonous to us. 

What is the main idea? 

a. Volcanoes are really dangerous. 

b. Lava is hot. 

c. Gases emitted from volcanoes are poisonous.

B. Lava is hot

500

I have a dog whose name is Paco. He is almost 10 years old. Paco is very loveable with a brown face and short black fur. He is one of my best friends. He plays with me, sleeps with me, and goes on walks with me. I am so glad to have him around. I love him. 

The main idea of this passage is: 

A. The dog’s name is Paco. 

B. Everyone should have a dog. 

C. The writer's dog is an important part of his life.

 D. The dog is cute and sweet.

C. The writer's dog is an important part of his life.

500

Hurricanes are large, intense storms that begin over the ocean, where they gather heat and energy from the water. Hurricanes move slowly toward land, usually moving 10-20 miles per hour for more than one week. The most dangerous part of the hurricane is the storm surge, when it reaches land and causes flooding. Wind and waves also contribute to the damage caused by these surges. 

The main idea of this passage is: 

a. Hurricanes are dangerous storms. 

b. Hurricanes begin over the ocean. 

c. One type of storm is called a hurricane. 

d. Hurricanes are dangerous from other storms.

d. Hurricanes are dangerous from other storms.

500

It may be difficult to tell when a story took place, unless an author explicitly states it, but the presence or absence of technology can help a reader make an approximate guess as to when the story was set. Only novels and short stories that were written very recently will include references to smartphones and apps. Storylines that include references to the internet were written within the past 25 years. If a story makes mention of a television, then it probably took place during or after the 1950s. The modes of transportation that people take are more examples of technology that can help the reader determine roughly when the story took place. If a character takes a plane ride, then the story very likely took place after World War II because commercial air travel became popular after the war. A character riding in a car wouldn’t happen before the 1900s. Of course, if the story mentions more recent advances like power windows or a driverless car, then it is far more recent. Train travel would put the setting within the past 200 years. The absence of technology doesn’t always mean that the story took place hundreds of years ago, it could just mean that mentioning technology was not necessary to tell the story. 

What is a central idea of today’s passage? 

a. Technology such as driverless cars and smartphones are recent inventions. 

b. Mentions of technology can help a reader determine when the story took place. 

c. References to technology can help the reader determine where the story took place.

b. Mentions of technology can help a reader determine when the story took place.

500

For anyone looking forward to sledding and playing in the snow, freezing rain can be a frustrating disappointment. Along with snow and sleet, freezing rain is a type of winter precipitation. Freezing rain occurs when liquid precipitation falls and freezes when it comes into contact with surfaces that are below freezing. Freezing rain happens when the air in the atmosphere is above freezing, which either melts precipitation that would have fallen as snow or sleet, or prevents it from freezing to begin with. The rain then falls through a colder layer of air, which acts to cool the rain down, allowing some of it to freeze as soon as it lands on a freezing surface. This can occur on trees, power lines, sidewalks and even roadways. Freezing rain can cause significant damage and disruption to daily life when anything more than a glaze falls. Even a light glaze on sidewalks and roadways can make walking and driving anywhere incredibly dangerous. Freezing rain that accumulates to more than a quarter of an inch can cause downed trees, which can take weeks to clean up. The weight of the ice on trees and powerlines can also cause widespread power outages, which cause great inconveniences to people and can even cause safety hazards. Repairing a downed power line or restoring power can take days or longer. 

What is a central idea of today’s passage? 

a. Fallen trees can cause power outages and take time to clean up. 

b. Freezing rain can occur on powerlines and sidewalks. 

c. Freezing rain falls as a liquid and can cause a lot of damage.

c. Freezing rain falls as a liquid and can cause a lot of damage.

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