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Main Idea and Supporting Details

English Language Arts, Grade 4

 
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The main idea is what a paragraph or a passage is mostly about. The main idea is supported by details. Sometimes, the main idea is stated. Often it is not. Then you have to figure it out based on the details. What is this passage mostly about? The sky is black. Clouds roil, thunder rumbles, and lightning flashes. The radio issues a tornado warning. Suddenly, a dark cloud stretches toward the ground like a living thing. It twists wildly, growing thinner and longer until it touches down. It's a tornado! People run for cover. They hide in their basements or storm cellars. Most people, that is. Other people jump in their trucks. They drive toward the tornado! Are they crazy? No. They are storm chasers. They risk their lives to gather data about these deadly weather events. Main idea: Most people get out of the way of a tornado, but storm chasers drive toward it. (The main idea is not stated in a single sentence. It must be pulled together from the text. ) Supporting details: (1) People run for cover. (2) They hide in their basements or storm cellars. (3) Storm chasers risk their lives to gather data about these deadly weather events. What is this passage mostly about? Paid storm chasers are meteorologists. That means they have earned a college degree in weather science. They watch radar screens. They try to predict when and where the worst storms will occur. When they feel confident that a tornado will form, they drive to the area. Once they see a tornado, they race to meet it. Why? The storm chasers want to place tornado pods in the twister's path. A tornado's spinning winds may exceed 300 miles per hour! It will suck up the pod like a huge vacuum cleaner. The pod takes photos, wind, and temperature readings. It sends out a radio signal so it can be found after the tornado drops it. The data gathered by the pod helps meteorologists learn what goes on inside a tornado. Main idea: The storm chasers want to place tornado pods in the twister's path. (The main idea is stated in a single sentence. ) Supporting details: (1) Meteorologists predict the worst storms. (2) They put tornado pods in the storm’s path. (3) The pod takes photos, wind, and temperature readings. (4) The data gathered by the pod helps meteorologists learn about tornadoes. Main Idea & Supporting Details Visit www.newpathlearning.com for Online Learning Resources. © Copyright NewPath Learning. All Rights Reserved. 92-4038
Main idea: Supporting Details: Read the text. Use the information to complete the graphic organizer. Alexander von Humboldt is the father of modern geography. Geography is the study of Earth's features such as rivers, mountains, and climates. Alexander’s discoveries helped us to understand our Earth. In 1799 he teamed up with Aime Bonpland. The pair sailed to South America. At that time, little was known about the continent. The men explored the Orinoco and Amazon Rivers. They took notes about the plants and animals they saw in the rain forest. They climbed in the Andes Mountains, too. Alexander saw that the coasts of South America and Africa fit together like puzzle pieces. He guessed that they had once been joined. In fact, 250 million years ago, all seven continents were one big land mass. Then, they drifted apart. They moved just a few inches each year. They are still moving today. Alexander was the first scientist to explain this continental drift. Alexander von Humboldt 1769-1859 Main Idea & Supporting Details Visit www.newpathlearning.com for Online Learning Resources. © Copyright NewPath Learning. All Rights Reserved. 92-4038
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