Exploring the Main Idea and Details in a Story

Subject: ELA (English Language Arts)

Lesson Length: 45 mins - 1 hour

Topic: Main Idea and Details

Grade Level: 4

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: Students will create a comic demonstrating their understanding of the main idea and details of a story.

Know Before You Start: This lesson can be used as a formative assessment.


  • Have students explain what Cinderella is about (the main idea), e.g., Cinderella wants to go to the ball but her stepmother won’t let her.
  • Show the Cinderella comic. Discuss the details students notice in each panel.
    • What details help the reader understand the story?
    • Are there any important details that are missing from the comic?
  • Discuss how details support the main idea of a story.


  • Assign a story for the class to read. As students read, have them focus on the specific details shared throughout the text.
  • Have students create a three-panel comic showing the beginning, middle, and end of the story that includes specific details to support the main idea of the text.


  • Have students share their comics with another student and discuss the main idea and details.


  • Provide sentence starters as needed.

  • Allow students to work with peer model.

  • Allow students to sketch out their ideas before creating their comic.

  • Allow students to use the voiceover feature to read their comics aloud.
  • Allow students to use the speech-to-text feature.


  • Comic to print or display: Comic.
  • Storyboard Graphic Organizer.

Suggested Story Starters: