Literacy Connections Assisting children to identify the “Main Idea” or “Key Messages” in a text will help them make meaningful connections while reading or listening to a story being read to them. For this purpose, it is helpful to consider the type of text that is being read. What is the “big idea” that the author wants to teach us about this topic? What would be the author’s purpose in writing this story? What is the author’s opinion about this topic? After thinking about these kind of questions your child may decide that the “Main Idea” in a story about recycling (a non-fiction text) is that everyone needs to share in the responsibility of recycling or our environment will be in danger. On the other hand, when reading a fictional text or narrative story (e.g. Franklin) you will want to help your child notice that the text structure is somewhat different. Questions like the following will help your child identify the “Main Idea” or “Key Messages” when reading these kind of stories: What is the author’s main message to you? What important life lesson does the author hope that you will learn after reading this story? After reading this fictional story about Franklin your child may decide that the “Main Idea” is that it is important to care for everyone and not let anyone feel left out. Helping children learn about the structure of various texts will also help them improve their understanding of different types of stories. What type of story will you be reading with your child today?
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