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Reading Strategies: Informational


Main Idea


Notice What Repeats

This strategy will help you figure out what the text is mostly about. 

Look for KEY REPEAT WORDS and highlight or write them down as you read. 

Summarize the REPEAT WORDS after each section. 

Using the summaries, come up with a MAIN IDEA.


  • Identify the topic:  Use the text features, the title, and subtitles

  • Identify the subtitles:  Think about how they relate to the title

  • List details that you learned from each section

  • Decide what the sections are mostly about to develop the main idea.

Add up the Facts

This is used to determine the main idea.

Read each section in the text, highlight or write down facts that seem connect together.

In your own words, write what the text is mainly about.

What? and So What?

The Main Idea is more than a topic.

What?  The Topic of the text or subtext

So What?  The author's angle or slant.

Now What? What you think the author is trying say about the topic.

What? So What? Put it Together!
Herd Dogs They are trained to be heelers to help gather and move other animals. Her dogs are very useful tools to help farmers control their livestock.