Ch 3: Central Idea & Summarizing: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.2

About This Chapter

Enhance and reinforce your classroom instruction on finding central ideas/themes and summarizing them in these endearing videos. If you would like some ideas on how to include this chapter in your classroom, check out the classroom uses section.

Standard: Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RI.9-10.2)

About This Chapter

Watching these video lessons with your class will help them develop their ability to identify the main theme of an informational text and track its growth or change throughout. They will learn to understand how to take that idea and summarize it within their own writing. As they progress through this chapter they will learn to:

  • Better comprehend informational texts
  • Find and explain themes, central ideas, and literary motifs of a text
  • Describe how supporting details explain the main point
  • Summarize and restate ideas
  • Explain the interactions between individuals, ideas, and events

Students who have developed strong skills in these areas will be able to work through informational texts in the 9th-10th grade complexity spectrum, effectively grasping their meaning and intent. They will be able to demonstrate their ability to succinctly articulate the meaning of a text in their own words.

How to Use These Lessons in Your Classroom

Here are some activities you might conduct with your students to bring these videos into your instruction and practice the concepts taught in them.

What's that motif's motive?

Identifying a text you are reading in class or which students are reading independently, have students explain one motif present in the text. First watch the video on literary motifs, then have the students write out a brief explanation of the author's intent in using the motif. They should explore how the motif relates to the setting, its use over time, what it ultimately represents, and why the author chose that particular device.

Exploring themes

After watching the videos in this chapter have students apply their skills as they read a brief informational text. Divide the class into small groups and have each group discuss how themes, ideas, and motifs are used and developed in the text. When they come to a consensus, they should briefly summarize their thoughts. Each group will share the results of their discussions with the class overall to see how they compare or contrast. The text used should be complex enough to encourage active debate and have several possible meanings as the students read them.

Extreme summaries

Provide each student with a short text, no more than a few pages. Watch the video on getting the gist of a text together in class and then have the students independently read their texts in class or as homework. Have each student provide a summary of their text to the rest of the class, but with one catch: the summary can be no longer than one coherent sentence which concisely describes the main point. No tricking the system by constructing a run-on sentence with transition words and multiple independent clauses. One sentence, one independent clause; that's the goal.

5 Lessons in Chapter 3: Central Idea & Summarizing: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.2
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Get the Gist of an Essay & Improve Reading Comprehension

1. Get the Gist of an Essay & Improve Reading Comprehension

In this lesson, we learn quick rules of getting the 'gist' or point of a sentence, paragraph and essay. This skill will improve your reading speed and help you become a more effective and efficient reader and writer.

How to Find the Theme or Central Idea

2. How to Find the Theme or Central Idea

In this lesson, you'll learn how to identify the theme or central idea of a text, and you'll get some specific examples of themes from famous stories.

What Are Literary Motifs? - Definition & Examples

3. What Are Literary Motifs? - Definition & Examples

In this lesson, you will learn about how writers use themes in works of literature as a way to explore universal ideas like love and war. You will also explore motifs, or repeating objects and ideas, which can contribute to theme.

How to Explain the Main Point through Supporting Details

4. How to Explain the Main Point through Supporting Details

In this lesson, you'll learn how to identify the supporting details that explain the main idea being presented in a piece of literature. You will also learn different strategies that can be applied to future questions about the main idea.

How to Restate an Idea and Summarize

5. How to Restate an Idea and Summarize

Understanding how to restate an idea and summarize the information you have read is an important reading skill. In this lesson, you'll learn how to rephrase the main points of an essay, argument, or reading passage into a clear summary.

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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