Practice Finding the Main Idea



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Practice Finding the Main Idea(Level A-1) Class_____ Number_______Name__________


  1. Baseball teams buy new balls for big games. But the new balls are slippery. So before each game, someone puts mud on them. But it’s a special kind of mud. It makes the balls easier to use.

The story mainly tells ________.

    1. why ball players put mud on new balls

    2. where the baseball mud comes from

    3. when mud takes care of problems

  1. It’s easy to go up in a hot-air balloon. It’s harder to come down. A gas burner heats the air inside a hot-air balloon. The hot air rises. So does the balloon. But what if people in the balloon want to come down? They have to wait for the air in the balloon to cool. Then the balloon slowly falls. They throw out ropes. Then the balloon is pulled to the ground.

The story mainly tells ________.

    1. how hot-air balloons go up and down

    2. who rides hot-air balloons

    3. when a hot-air balloon needs air

  1. Long ago, dogs helped people fight wars. Fighters trained the dogs. The dogs learned to bite enemies. The dogs also learned to track enemies who ran away. Explorers who crossed the ocean used these dogs. The dogs could help them when they had to fight in faraway lands.

The story mainly tells _________.

    1. who went across the ocean

    2. how dogs helped people fight

    3. what people did long ago
  1. We make sounds by changing the shape of our mouth and throat. Do birds sing this way? Most people did not think so. but scientists have learned that birds sing different notes by changing eh shape of their throats. It seems as if they sing like people


The story mainly tells _________.

    1. how people and birds sing

    2. who uses air to make words

    3. why people like to sing

  1. Most plants need a rest every year. How can you tell when a plant is resting? Most plants outdoors rest in winter. Some outdoor plants drop their leaves during this time. Other plants stop growing. Indoor plants rests, too. They grow more slowly while they rest. They do not need much food and water. They also may not grow any flowers until it is time to stop resting.

The story mainly tells _________.

    1. which plants live outdoors

    2. how to tell when a plant is resting

    3. who rests in the summer

  1. One man has more charge cards than anyone else in the world. He thinks it’s a game to get as many charge cards as he can. He could buy many things with these cards. But he doesn’t. If he did, then he’d have to pay for all of them. Then he’d also have more bills than anyone in the world. So he uses only a few cards.

The story mainly tells _______.

    1. who has the most charge cards

    2. who uses the most charge cards

    3. why people must pay for charge cards
  1. Charles E. Yeager was the first man to fly faster than the speed of sound. For a long time, airplanes flew slower than the speed of sound. Planes that tried to fly faster ran into sound waves. The sound waves pushed very hard against the airplanes. And they sometimes broke into pieces in the air. Then in 1947 Yeager finally flew faster than sound. His plane was strong enough to go through the sound waves.


The story mainly tells ________.

    1. how old Charles Yeager was

    2. why airplanes broke apart

    3. what Charles Yeager did

  1. It’s hard to decide if children are more alike or more different. Each child learns at a different time. Each child looks different from all the others. And each child acts in a different way. But children are the same in many ways. They all learn things. They all need love. They all grow. They all like to play, too.

The story mainly tells ___________.

    1. who looks different from everyone else

    2. why children need love and like to play

    3. how children are both different and alike

  1. In the fall of each year, the days grow shorter and shorter. We finally reach a time when the days and nights last about the same number of hours and minutes. During these days the full moon is called a harvest moon. It rises soon after the sun goes down. It is often a deep orange color. Since the moon is so bright, farmers have more time to harvest their corps. That’s why it’s called a harvest moon.

The story mainly tells ____________.

    1. what color the harvest moon is

    2. how the harvest got its name

    3. when the days grow shorter





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