READING EXERCISE - MAIN IDEA (intermediate level)


The main idea tells what a story or paragraph is mostly about. Read the letters Tyler wrote from camp and those he received. Write the main idea for each letter.

Dear Mom and Dad, Saturday, June 7
Camp is great! I have met a lot of new friends. Jimmy is from California, Eric is from Iowa, and Tony is from Missouri. We have a great time together, swimming, canoeing, hiking, and playing tricks on other campers! Every night, we sneak over to another cabin. We then try to scare the other campers either by making scary noises or by throwing things at their cabin. It’s so funny to see them run out screaming! Now don’t worry, Mom. I’m not going to get caught like I did last year. One thing that is different from last year is how many bugs there are! I know that scientists discover 7 to 10 thousand new kinds of insects each year, and I think they could discover even more here! I have at least 100 itchy mosquito bites and about 20 fire ant bites. Every time I go outside, horseflies chase me, too! Other than all these buggy bugs, I’m having the best time!
Love,
Tyler

Main idea ________________________________________________________________________

Dear Tyler, Tuesday, June 10
Are you sure you are okay? All of those bugs sound awful! Have you used all of the “Itch-Be-Gone” cream I got you? You know how your feet swell if you don’t use the cream! How about the “Ants ’R Awful” lotion for the ant bites? You and your Aunt Ethel have always seemed to attract those nasty fire ants. Now Tyler, I am very happy that you have met some new friends and that you are having fun together. However, you MUST stop trying to scare other campers. Remember, honey, some campers may frighten easily. I want you to apologize for any anxiety you may have caused them and start being the nice, polite boy that I know you are. Do you hear me, Tyler? Please be careful. I want you home safely.
Love,
Mom

Main idea ________________________________________________________________________

ANSWERS: 
Answers will vary. Sample main ideas: Letter one — Except for the bugs, Tyler and his new friends are having fun at camp.; Letter two — Tyler’s mom is worried about his bug bites, and she wants him to start being nice to the other campers.

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