All Subjects
      All Types



        5-7, 13+

        Permitted Use

        Part of WNET
        212 Favorites

        Main Idea and Details - Cloud

        Students practice distinguishing between relevant and irrelevant ideas by identifying relevant details in a story and using them to draft a main idea statement. They double check the details as relevant or irrelevant in a two-column chart.

        Lesson Summary


        Students will identify the main idea and supporting details in the Cloud video segment about a wild horse roundup by distinguishing between relevant and irrelevant ideas. Students begin by watching the segment, thinking about what main idea the author is trying to convey. Next, they read the transcript for the segment and identify details they believe are most important. They write these details on small sticky notes. Then students draft a main idea statement that describes the main idea of the segment. Finally, students double check the details as relevant or irrelevant on a two-column chart.

        Grade Level:


        Suggested Time


        Media Resources


        The Lesson

        Part I: Learning Activity

        1. Photocopy the Cloud Main Idea and Details chart.

        2. Distribute sticky notes to each student.

        3. Provide the context of the segment: The video begins with wild horses being rounded up by the Bureau of Land Management in the Arrowhead Mountains of Montana. There is Cloud, a stallion known for his unique white color, and Little Cloud, a palomino colt. Little Cloud is traveling with Shamon's band (or family). Flint is also a colt that Cloud "adopts" as part of his band. Flint's mother has become part of Cloud's band, too.

        4. As students watch the video, they write on sticky notes what they consider the most important details from the video. Distribute the Cloud Video Transcript handout.

        5. Students read the video transcript and record any additional important details on sticky notes.

        6. Distribute the two-column chart. Each student drafts a statement of the main idea and writes it in the box at the top of the chart.

        7. Next, students decide if each of the details on the sticky notes is a relevant or an irrelevant detail. Place each note in the appropriate column: Relevant Information or Irrelevant Information.

        For students who need additional teacher guidance:

        1. Introduce the "Cloud" video segment. (See # 2 above)

        2. Pause the video after the narrator says: "Of the family bands, only Cloud's little group remains confined because Flint has been seriously injured. . . . Whether he can recover from being run too far, too fast is in doubt."

        Think aloud about why you choose a particular detail to write on a sticky note. Then ask students to share ideas from the video they think are important and write them on sticky notes.

        3. Continue viewing the video. At the end of the video, discuss the video segment and encourage students to write more details on sticky notes.

        4. Distribute the Cloud Video Transcript handout.

        5. Students read in pairs or small groups to line 25. Then add more important ideas on sticky notes, if necessary. Share ideas with the whole group. Then read the remainder of the transcript in pairs, discuss ideas, and write them on sticky notes.

        6. Draw a 2-column chart on the board and distribute a copy of Cloud Main Idea and Details chart to each student.

        7. Guide students as they determine the main idea of the video segment. Consider questions such as the following to prompt them: What do you think the author/video producer wants viewers/readers to remember from this segment? Construct a main idea together. Write the main idea at the top of the handout.

        8. Choose a few sticky notes and model how to determine if the details are relevant or irrelevant to support the main idea.

        9. Next, students place their sticky notes on the handout, in the appropriate columns.

        10. In small groups, students share the ideas they consider are relevant and that support the main idea.

        11. In each small group, students discuss if they agree or disagree that the details are relevant or not and edit their own lists.

        Part II: Assessment

        Using the sticky notes they have in the relevant information column, ask students to write a paragraph about the events that occur during the round up in Montana. Students should focus on relevant ideas and putting the important details from the video in the proper sequence.


        You must be logged in to use this feature

        Need an account?
        Register Now