Remembering Details in Non-fiction

Contributor: Jessica Buch. Lesson ID: 10170

Reading a story is hard if you don't know what it's about. You need the main idea! The main idea of this lesson is to use video and games to teach you to get the main idea and write your own story!



learning style
personality style
Grade Level
Intermediate (3-5)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!


Long ago in American history, two men set out to find a passage from one side of our nation to the unexplored territory to the west. Their names were Lewis and Clark.

  • Who were Lewis and Clark, really?
  • What details do you know about their famous trip?
  • When you read non-fiction, do you sometimes forget some of the details?

In this lesson, you'll learn some strategies to understand the main idea, and how details can help you remember!

What's the big idea?

That's what you want to know when you are looking for the main idea of a passage or story.

Usually, the title and pictures give us some clues about what the main idea of the passage may be. It's the details, though, that really are the meat of the story.

When you read, you should look for clues, and also be looking for the important details to help you understand the meaning of the passage. Looking for clues as you read means detecting or finding important details that help you understand the meaning of the story passage.

You're going to read a story about two adventurous men named Lewis and Clark.

  • Before you read, think about what you already know about Lewis and Clark. Maybe you don't know anything about them, and that's OK! You will in a little bit.

  • Now, think about what it would be like to walk, canoe, ride a horse across the country — without any MAPS! What would be difficult about that trip? What would you want to have with you on the trip? Their journey may have looked a bit like this:

Painting Lewis and Clark on the Lower Columbia

Image by Charles Marion Russell, via Wikimedia Commons, is in the public domain.

When you have imagined what that trip might be like, you can open the story American Explorers: Lewis and Clark found in Downloadable Resources in the right-hand sidebar.

Get ready to read the story in the Got It? section.

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