Activity 1: Understanding Main Idea
What does topic refer to? What does main idea mean? What is a topic sentence? What questions should you ask yourself to find the main idea of a paragraph or a passage with several paragraphs?
Give the main idea of each paragraph on the first page of "Why People Smoke."
Activity 2: Finding the Main Idea From Interviews
Give the one main reason that each person interviewed in The Boston Globe Smoker. In giving the reason, you will be finding the main idea. Then, what reasons, details, facts, and/or examples are provided to support the main idea?
Activity 3: Writing the Main Idea
Working together in a group, look at the scoring sheets of Example 1 and Example 2 of the "Why Do You Smoke ?" test. A person can have more than one reason. Figure out why each of these people smokes and write the main idea in one sentence. When you are finished, you should have written two sentences with a different main idea in each one.
Activity 4: Conducting an Interview
Interview a smoker or ex-smoker you know well using the following questions:
- At about what age did you first start to smoke?
- How did you start smoking?
- When do (did) you smoke?
- Where do (did) you smoke?
- How does (did) smoking make you feel?
- Why do (did) you smoke?
Write out the answers to each of the above questions in complete sentences. Also, Write a one paragraph summary from your written answers to the interview questions. In this summary you will be giving the main ideas from your interview. Share your summary with the class by reading it aloud.