Teaching Key Details with Bubblegum!

In my humble teaching opinion, teaching main idea to primary students has to be one of the most challenging parts of the literacy curriculum.  Pinpointing details, recognizing the most important ones, and then sorting through them to firmly grasp the author’s message is anything but easy.  Especially when you’re six!  That main idea stuff is hard work!
That’s why I think it’s important to really, really, really take your time making sure the little ones know exactly what a key detail is and then move onto main idea.  At first, this lesson will hardly look reading-related.  But, give us time, and we’ll be finding that main idea in no time! Side note: what better way to teach key details than to be teaching key details with bubblegum?
 The sole focus of this lesson was to know that details are small pieces of information.  We will expand that definition to be more literary-specific as we head into the next lessons.
First, I introduced the definition of detail, omitting the second half of the definition after the word information.
You can download this poster for free by clicking >>> HERE.
To focus on the “smallness” of a detail, I handed Beckham an assortment of gum and allowed him to choose a piece.   Why bubblegum? Because, well, it’s small *and* full of information!  I encouraged him to think of any detail he could to describe his piece of bubblegum.  {This is also a good time to throw in adjectives!} PS.  I would’ve preferred to use Bubble Yum, but we had the hardest time finding any!  Seriously, it wasn’t at our local grocery stores!
Then, I gave him a Details Word Web and he wrote down the details.
Working hard while sister gets into EVERYTHING.  Yes, I’m aware that cord looks very tempting to grabby little hands, but I watched her like a hawk.  She was more interested in looking out the window!
Though I probably wouldn’t encourage a class full of students to take the gum out of their mouths for obvious reasons, I let Becks take it out after he’d chewed it a little.  That’s why the words “stretchy” and “brainish” made this list.  #boyslikegross #alsoschoolinourjammies
To wrap up this lesson, his ‘exit slip’ was to tell me the definition of detail.  He was able to tell me exactly what it was, which made this lesson a success in my books.  Plus, hello, gum during school. (!!!!!!!) Teaching key details with bubblegum is oh-so-fun!
And, though I didn’t teach specifically about finding details in a story, we did later make the connection between a detail and those in our read-aloud.  Tomorrow’s lesson will dig in a little deeper!
You can find this lesson and more lessons about key details and main idea in this resource pack:
Now, it’s onto finishing our Christmas decorating!  I plan to do a holiday home tour later this week!
Happy Tuesday!

Stay in the know!

These FREE resources are an instant download upon a confirmed subscription.

Spam is for sandwiches. Unsubscribe at any time. Powered by ConvertKit


Abby is a former kindergarten and first grade teacher who channels her passion for education into creating engaging activities and resources for the kindergarten and first grade classroom. When not dreaming up or working on her next project, you’ll find her enjoying her family – most likely in her minivan on the way to a soccer field.


Share This:


Hi, I'm Abby

Hi, I’m Abby! Thanks for stopping by. I love supporting kindergarten and first grade teachers with engaging, skill-based activities that are easy to use in their classrooms. Let me help you be the best teacher you can be!
Dot a Word Opt In Preview

Make teaching easier

Free Phonics Activity

Help your students build their phonemic awareness with this simple segmenting activity. Get 25 FREE practice pages sent to your inbox today.

You Might Also Like...








Seasonal & Holiday

Seasonal & Themes




Price - slider
Price - inputs

Take a peek inside of
Word Work Workshop!