Free Printable 'Main Idea' Worksheets: Key Ideas and Details

Train your students to find the main idea and supporting points in key texts. Suited for grades 2-8.

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But First - Why Use Dull Worksheets When You Can Transform Your Next Lesson Into A Gripping Adventure?! Here's How it Will Work:


Arrange the story blocks and enter the tomb


Identify key information and answer questions


Assemble the tomb and uncover the mystery

Tired of Watching Your Students Struggle With The Main Idea?

Looking for an engaging classroom tool that your students will talk about all year? Try a classroom escape room game!

Students can often struggle to extract the main idea from a key text. When they do, it's difficult and frustrating!

And watching them struggle is even more frustrating! Especially when you consider that many of the worksheets available for these 2nd-8th grade students are very similar and start to get boring over time.

By using a worksheet that's different and engaging, you get your students excited and ready to learn. The great thing is that there are plenty of free downloadable worksheets available on the internet (perfect for classrooms and homeschool lessons alike).

Below we'll walk you through:

  1. why this activity is so important
  2. ideas for using worksheets in a creative and engaging way
  3. where you can download these worksheets for free!

Here, Let Us Help You Out!


No worries, like we said, there are many free worksheets available for you to use with your students.

The 'main idea' type worksheets are great for helping your 2nd-8th grade students extract the primary argument/idea of a text, as well as it's supporting points. In a nutshell, they help students intentionally uncover what the author is trying to get across.

If you're tired of having your students do the same boring papers over and over, then it might be worth your time to check these out.

This Will Be Your Most Immersive Main Idea Activity Ever. Try it risk-free!


This activity pack takes your students on a gripping quest through Tutankhamun's tomb.

Perfect for classrooms and homeschool lessons alike. The game sheets guide your kids through fascinating Egyptian history, all while they learn to identify the main elements of each story thread.

It sets up instantly to save you stress. Just print, and your lesson is done!

Why Practice 'Main Idea' Worksheets?

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One of the main reasons why these sheets are so great is because they can help your students learn many different skills and improve some that they've already learned.

For starters, they can use them to figure out the core of an argument, which can improve their thinking and debating skills.

Another thing they can learn from using these sheets is how to correctly structure a paragraph, which really helps with their essay-writing skills.

Finally, the two last ways your students can benefit from these sheets is by developing better reading skills and learning different persuasive techniques. Overall, these sheets are a great way to help your students learn.

How To Make Worksheets An Engaging Activity

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We know, worksheets can be a drag. So we also wanted to add some ideas of activities that you can do with the sheets to make things a little more fun (like this math worksheet, that takes students through a riveting treasure hunt adventure!).

You can even adapt these worksheet activities for use in your homeschool curriculum. While you don't have to do every activity that's listed, they can give you an idea of what you can do, and from there, you can create your own games that will match the interests and personalities of your students. The most important thing is that your students learn the information they need and these activities can help with that. We tried to include a little bit of everything and most of these activities are perfect for students in 2nd - 8th grade.

1. My Mistake

This activity is great for helping your students find mistakes and learn how to fix them. Once every student has a sheet, they'll need to fill out the answers and make sure they write an intentional mistake. Depending on what kind of sheet you're working on, you can increase the number of mistakes if needed. After everyone gets done with their sheet, you'll collect them and randomly hand them out. Each student will then find the mistake in the paper they are grading and discuss why it's wrong, as well as what needs to be done to fix it.


2. Jeopardy!

Another great activity that you can do with your students is a Jeopardy!-type game. The easiest way to do this is by using stories you've been teaching about and use questions about them. You'll want to include questions about the main point of the story and the other pieces that support it. You can either break the students into teams and have everyone play together or have multiple groups where everyone works on their own. It's especially great for those times where you're trying to prepare them for an upcoming test.

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Here's Our Hottest Worksheet Game - An Escape Room Adventure!


Classroom escape room games engage the whole classroom. Every. Single. Time!

They're not just games, they're valuable learning experiences that develop critical thinking skills, refine group communication, and engage multiple learning styles at once.

Worksheets can easily be integrated into a classroom escape room game as another puzzle that students must work together to solve.

Read our guide here to discover how you can use escape room games to reignite creativity in your classroom.

3. Logic Puzzles

With this game, you'll divide your students into groups. Each group will get a different logical puzzle that you come up with. Before giving them a worksheet, you'll put questions where the answers give the students a hint. After solving each problem on the worksheets and collecting all of the hints, each group will then use them to answer their logic question. If you want to play this game multiple times, you can make sure the groups stay divided and don't overhear answers from any of the other groups. After every group is done, you can have them rotate.


4. Everybody Knows

For this activity, you'll want to divide your students into groups of four. You'll give every group a worksheet, so they can follow along and find the answers. Each student in the group will be assigned a different number between one and four. When you ask the question, you'll give each group between 30 and 60 seconds to agree on an answer. After the time is up, you'll call out a number, and the student from each group that has been assigned that number will be the one to answer the question. This is the reason everyone needs to understand what the answer is because they never know which student will have to explain it.

5. Lines of Communication

With this game, you'll want to divide your students into two groups and have them line up face-to-face. If you have an uneven number, you can stand in to ensure everyone will have a partner. You'll then ask a question and each group of two will have between 30 and 60 seconds to talk about the answer and explain why they think it's correct. You'll then tell the correct answer and everyone will move down one spot. You keep doing this until you run out of questions.


6. ShowDown

Depending on how many students you have, you'll want to divide them into groups of three or four. Each group will receive worksheets and they'll elect someone to be the captain of the team. The captain will read the question to their group and each person will write their answers. Each student will then hold their answers up when you say the words "showdown." Everyone will look at the other student's answers and discuss how they came to the answer and talk about any answers that were wrong. When the discussion is over, the next person in the group becomes the captain and the game goes the same way.

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Looking For Even More Engaging Classroom Activities? We've Got A Bunch For You!


7. Bingo

A favorite to many students and teachers all over the world is their own form of bingo. You can print all of the bingo cards before class starts and pass them out randomly. If you'll be playing multiple games, you'll want to print multiple copies or use something that will allow students to reuse the card. You can offer little prizes and ask questions like which story does the main idea belongs to or which story had these small events happen. Before anyone marks any of the bingo spaces, you'll want to discuss the answer as a class.


8. Matching Game

A matching-type game is very easy and does a great job of helping students remember the answers. You'll want to make flashcards that have questions on one card and the answer on another. Try and have all of the questions on cards of one color and have the answers on a different colored card. You'll then flip all of the cards face-down and mix them up. Each student will come up one at a time and choose a card of each color. They'll read the question and decide if the answer they picked up matches that card. Regardless of whether it's correct or not, the student should explain their reasoning.

9. Team Work

First, divide your students into groups of two or three, depending on how many are in your class. You'll give each pair worksheets and have them work together to figure out the answers. They'll need to rely on each other and can't ask the teacher or other students for help. The students will need to discuss until they agree on an answer. Each group will have to explain to each other if there are many different answers. Of course, if they absolutely need help, you can give suggestions to help them find the right answer.


10. Pair Rotation

You'll divide the students into groups of two and have one person be Partner 1 and the other be Partner 2. Each pair will get a sheet and they'll need to work together to find the answer. Set a timer and when time is up, have everyone that's Partner 2 move down one seat. You'll then have them answer the second question. This will keep going until you run out of questions. If you don't have an even amount of students, you might have to sit in to ensure everyone has partners.



The final activity you can do is called KAHOOT! It's great for older students because they use a device with the app on it. Many kids have access to some kind of electronic that's usually provided by the school and everyone can play at once. You'll need to create the quiz or activity from inside the app before the day of class, but you can ask any questions you want. Everyone will use the same code to get into the room together and everyone will take the quiz at the same time. It's a fun game where your students can challenge each other to see who gets the most correct answers. Give everyone one of these worksheets, so they can figure out the correct answer.


Did You Find What You Need?


Now that you have some ideas of how you can use these free worksheets for 2nd - 8th grade students, you're ready to make your class a little more fun.

(Or A LOT more fun, if you use them as part of an epic escape room adventure!)

Help the kids get excited about your class and open their minds to the joys of learning. One thing to remember is that you don't have to use every one of these suggestions, but they can help you get started.

Your Kids Will Fall in Love With Your Next Lesson - Just Print the Activity and Watch Them Smile!


A complete classroom (or homeschool) activity that 'gamifies' history and reading comprehension.

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Instant setup. Tailored to be easy on your time and super engaging for your kids!

Main Idea Worksheets: Key Ideas and Details

Main Idea Worksheets
Main Idea Worksheets - Free printable PDF worksheets. Also downloadable to use on a Smart Board. The main idea, also called the central idea or main point, is the primary concept of a passage. It represents the essential point that the author is trying to convey. The main idea may be clearly stated as a sentence. The main idea is usually reinforced by a series of other points or details which support the premise of the main idea. These are called supporting ideas and may also be stated or implied.

Key Ideas and Details
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.3.1 Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.