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Sino-Canadian International College, Guangxi University, Online English Lesson Plans, Lesson Material and Ideas
for Reading Lessons...
Reading: Expressing the Main
Idea of Reading Material
Lesson Objectives: To be able to express the
main idea of an article or text.
The Main Idea: Every sentence in a paragraph
must contribute to the main idea. Most of the sentences in a paragraph
simply support the main idea. Some may state or summarize that idea.
The main idea
normally appears at the beginning of a text.
In short articles
the main idea should appear in the first few sentences.
In longer articles
the main idea will be expressed in the first paragraph.
Group Activity: In a small group (about 3
people), using the handout (copied below) “Contributing to the Main
Idea” complete the 4 tasks:
"Contributing to the Main Idea"
There is one sentence in each of the following paragraphs that does not
contribute to the main idea. It does not belong in the paragraph. Underline
the sentence that should be removed from each paragraph (answers are shown
1. I am looking forward to election day. It’s fun to vote and exciting to
watch the election results. I’ll be rooting for my candidate to win and
enjoying the suspense if the vote is close. The following day will be a good
time to play video games. No matter who wins, an election is a special
2. April is beginning the lengthy process of choosing a college to attend.
She is buying and reading guides to the best schools. She hasn’t
completely ruled out working for a year before attending college. She’s
checking out the many Websites that provide information for picking the
right college or university. She’s even researching the climate of the
area of every school she considers.
3. Bill is one of those people who just doesn’t have to worry about
gaining too much weight. He is the best tennis player I’ve ever met. Bill
can eat any amount of any food he likes without putting on an ounce. He can
go for weeks without exercising with no apparent effect. It just doesn’t
4. Scientists are learning a great deal about the aging process. This
knowledge will allow doctors to help their patients live longer and better
lives. They will be able to defeat diseases associated with aging and
perhaps even delay the onset of old age. Many doctors would agree that some
medicines are much too expensive.