Interactive Main Idea Activities


It can be challenging for high-school students to identify main ideas and topic sentences, which are used interchangeably in reading passages. Many new college students are often placed back in developmental courses to help prepare them for college reading. Interactive exercises in reading for both high-school and developmental level college students usually include main ideas, implied main ideas, topic sentences and inferences. Students who develop their strengths in these areas are apt to succeed in advanced level high-school classes and college courses.

Allyn and Bacon's Main Idea Online Quizzes

  • The Allyn and Bacon online quizzes offer five exercises pertaining to identifying the main idea of passages. The passages consist of five to seven sentences on a variety of common topics. Students explore main ideas and topic sentences found throughout each passage. Each exercise contains two questions, and each question offers a detailed explanation at the end. The exercises are appropriate for lower high-school grades.

The Effective Reader

  • "The Effective Reader" is an online manual companion for the text of the same name published by Pearson/Longman. Students work on their reading skills through dozens of interactive exercises organized by chapters. Chapter 3 reviews stated main ideas with 5- to 10-sentence reading passages. Chapter 5 reviews implied main ideas and central ideas in a similar format. Each chapter contains five labs pertaining to each topic, and each lab contains 10 reading passages. Students email their instructor at the end of each quiz, and every missed question is reviewed in detail.

Reading for Results

  • "Reading for Results" is an online companion to Laraine Flemming's developmental reading textbook. Chapters 4 and 5 focus on three levels of topic sentences, main ideas and inferences from short reading passages. These interactive quizzes allow students to receive an explanation for every question they answer incorrectly. Each question in both chapters is in multiple-choice format. At the end of each exercise, the student emails the completed exercise to a teacher for evaluation.

Wadsworth Reading Quizzes

  • Wadsworth developmental reading quizzes are designed for college students who aren't prepared for college reading. They are challenging exercises for advanced level high-school students. The quizzes are not limited to main ideas or topic sentences, but every exercise includes questions specifically on main ideas, implied main ideas and topic sentences. Patterns of organization, tone, author's purpose and fact and opinion questions are also present in the quizzes, which all involve reading passages taken from a variety of college level textbooks.


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