Main Idea
Supporting Details
Main Idea or Supporting Details?
Main Idea
Main Idea or Supporting Details?
100

What is a main idea?

A main idea is what the article is mostly about.

100

What is a supporting detail?

Supporting details are details that tell you more about the main idea.

100

Cross-training is a way of adding variety to your exercise program by doing two or more different types of exercise in one workout. It's not a new fad. Athletes have been cross-training since the days of the Olympic decathlons and pentathlons of ancient Greece. 

Is "Cross training is a way of adding variety to your exercise program" the main idea OR a key detail?

What is the main idea?

100

True or false: The main idea is always the first sentence in a written text.

False

100

Hybrids’ gas engines also shut off while the cars are stopped. "The car goes silent when waiting at lights, while the other cars around it continue rumbling and rattling," hybrid driver May Kuroiwa of Havre de Grace, Maryland, told Senior Edition.

The system lets hybrids travel farther on less fuel. Some hybrids can go about 500 to 600 miles on a single tank of gas. That’s about twice as far as a regular gas-powered car.

Is "Some hybrids can go about 500 to 600 miles on a single tank of gas." the main idea OR a key detail?

What is a key detail?

200

Niagara Falls is one of the most beautiful sights in North America. It is on the Niagara River about halfway between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie. Niagara Falls is on the American and Canadian border. The American Falls is 167 feet high. On the Canadian side, the Horseshoe Falls is 161 feet high. Which sentence is the main idea of the paragraph?

Niagara Falls is one of the most beautiful sights in North America.

200

Kangaroos protect themselves in many ways. If a kangaroo senses danger, they will bang their tail on the ground to warn the others. A newborn joey is only the size of your thumb. "Kangaroos protect themselves in many ways" is the main idea. Which sentence is the supporting detail?

If a kangaroo senses danger, they will bang their tail on the ground to warn the others.

200

Cross-training reduces the risk of injury. When you run all the time, you stress the same muscles. If you alternate running with swimming or cycling, you use different muscles, and give the running muscles a rest. 

Is "When you run all the time, you stress the same muscles" the main idea OR key detail?

What is a key detail?

200

There are many different kinds of bears in the world. Black bears live in North America. Grizzly bears also live in North America. They are very dangerous. The white Polar bear lives in the Arctic. The biggest bear is the Kodiak bear that is found in Alaska. What is the main idea of the paragraph?

There are many different kinds of bears in the world.

200

Hybrids have been popular because they conserve gasoline. The cars use their gas-powered engines on highways, where less fuel is required to move. Their electric motors kick in on hills or in stop-and-go traffic, when regular cars would burn up extra gas. 

Is "Hybrids are popular because they conserve gasoline." the main idea OR a key detail?

What is the main idea?

300

On April 14, 1865, well-known actor and Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth fatally shot President Abraham Lincoln while he was attending a play at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. Because he was an actor, Booth was immediately recognized by many at the theatre. What is the main idea of this paragraph?

Abraham Lincoln was fatally shot while attending a play.

300

Harriet Tubman risked her life to help free countless other slaves. Rather than remaining in the safety of the North, Tubman made it her mission to rescue her family and others living in slavery. After laws changed, the Underground Railroad was changed to lead directly to Canada. Tubman later became a spy.  What detail supports, "Harriet Tubman risked her life to help free countless other slaves"?

Rather than remaining in the safety of the North, Tubman made it her mission to rescue her family and others living in slavery.

300

Overcoming shyness takes time and effort, Gilbert says. Taking small steps is the key to becoming more and more comfortable in new social situations. She says it worked for her. 

Is "Overcoming shyness takes time" the main idea OR key detail?

What is the main idea?


300

Bats are fascinating animals. They are not birds, they are flying mammals. Some bats eat fruit, others eat insects. Bats are experts at flying. They use a system called echolocation to fly quickly in the dark. Which is the main idea of the paragraph?

Bats are fascinating animals

300

Once you start cross-training, you'll have to think about your shoes. Although each sport has a shoe made especially for it, you don't have to have a shoe for each activity that you do. Cross-training shoes have wide bottoms to provide stability for your feet. They have durable soles, so you can wear them inside and outside. When you choose a cross-training shoe, be sure to get one with the most cushioning per square inch. 

Is "Cross training shoes have wide bottoms to provide stability for your feet." the main idea OR key detail?

What is a key detail?

400

The President was carried to a house across the street from the theatre, where he survived for nine hours before succumbing to the shot to the back of his head. Surrounded by several of his closest friends and advisors, he was pronounced dead at 7:22am on April 15, 1865. What is the main idea of this paragraph?

Lincoln was pronounced dead nine hours after being shot.

400

Susan B. Anthony fought very hard for the rights of women. She grew up in a politically active family. Anthony advocated for the Women's Suffrage Movement. Susan B. Anthony's family fought against the sale of alcohol. What detail supports, "Susan B. Anthony fought very hard for the rights of women"?

Anthony advocated for the Women's Suffrage Movement.

400

Environmentalists say the cars are exactly what the (Earth) doctor ordered. Hybrids’ advanced technology uses less fossil fuel than regular gas-powered vehicles. Fossil fuels are coal, oil, and natural gases that were created millions of years ago. Fossil fuels are not a renewable energy source; once they are used up, they are gone forever. 

Is "Fossil fuels are coal, oil, and natural gases that were created millions of years ago." the main idea OR a key detail?

What is a key detail?

400

Our solar system is very large. It includes the eight planets that turn around the sun, many moons, and other celestial bodies. These planets include Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. There are also hundreds of thousands of smaller planets in this system. They are called asteroids. Each asteroid is much smaller than any of the eight large planets. What is the main idea of the paragraph?

It includes the eight planets that turn around the sun, many moons, and other celestial bodies.

400

Southern food traditions are still changing today. As new immigrants from other parts of the world move to the United States, they bring their own food traditions. There are now Asian-Southern restaurants in Atlanta and Caribbean soul restaurants in New York City. New patterns of migration and trade will change the foods that we eat and create new cuisines. 

Is "New patterns of migration will change food." the main idea OR key detail?

What is a main idea?

500

The Erie Canal changed the way people moved goods and supplies in the mid 1800's. The 363-mile-canal connected Albany, New York to Lake Erie in Buffalo for the first time. When the canal opened in 1825, building supplies and goods could be transported quickly and cheaply across New York State. Canal boats pulled by mules carried people and supplies the 363 miles. Which sentence is the main idea of the paragraph?

The Erie Canal changed the way people moved goods and supplies in the mid 1800's.

500

Clara Barton became the first President of the American Red Cross when it was founded in 1881. Barton was a school teacher from Massachusetts who became an army nurse. She was nicknamed the "Angel of the Battlefield" during the Civil war. After the war, Barton began to lobby for the start of the American Red Cross. "Clara Barton became the first President of the American Red Cross when it was founded in 1881," is the main idea. What is the supporting detail?

After the war, Barton began to lobby for the start of the American Red Cross.

500

The food Martha Lou cooks is called “Southern food” or “soul food.” Southern food people eat today originated in the American South, but it can now be found all over the United States. Southern food is the result of hundreds of years of trade across oceans. It is mostly the result of cultural exchange between Africans, Native Americans, and Europeans. 

Is "Southern food is the result of hundreds of years of trade across oceans." the main idea OR a key detail?

What is the main idea?

500

Honeybees form large hives. There are thousands of bees in a hive. One bee is the queen. She lays the eggs. Some bees gather nectar and pollen from flowers to make honey. Other bees protect the hive. Some bees keep the hive clean. Still other bees help the queen. Each bee has a special job to do in the bee hive. What is the main idea of the paragraph?

Each bee has a special job to do in the bee hive.

500

Southern food spread throughout the United States when African Americans from the South moved to major cities across the country. From 1900 to 1970, more than 6 million African Americans moved to big American cities in the North, Midwest, and West. They left the South to seek fair treatment and more opportunities. They brought with them the foods and traditions of their past home. 

Is "From 1900 to 1970, more than 6 million African Americans moved." the main idea OR a key detail?

What is a key detail?

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