I have put together a useful planning tool that will help your students develop a better understanding of identifying the main idea from a piece of text.
This can be found in graphic organisers and thinking tools section and it works particularly well with newspaper articles and research based texts.
Students read through a piece of text and then identify the who? what? when? where? How? And why?
The section at the bottom of the sheet has 25 spaces for students to summarise the text in their own words.
This tool can be used both high-school and elementary students and will greatly assist them in improving their research and fact finding skills.
Dowload the Understanding the main idea tool here.