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5 IEP Goals and Teaching Strategies to Help Students Master Key Ideas

Updated: Nov 19


Finding key ideas is essential when it comes to IEP goals and teaching strategies. Students need to be able to identify the main points of a text in order to understand and learn from it. In this blog post, we will discuss 5 IEP goals and teaching strategies that can help your students master key ideas.


Finding the Main or Central Idea in Text

The most important IEP goal for students is to be able to find the main or central idea in text. This includes understanding the author’s purpose for writing and being able to identify the most important information in a text.


Target IEP Goal

Standards Base: Determine two or more central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.


IEP Goal: By (date), when given grade-level informational text on (topic) the student will find (3) supporting details within the text and conclude the main or central idea from the details, improving reading comprehension skills from 0/10 work samples out of ten consecutive trials to 8/10 work samples in ten consecutive trials.


IEP Goal: By (date), when given grade-level informational text on (topic) the student will select the main or central idea from a multiple choice answer bank, improving reading comprehension skills from 0/10 work samples out of ten consecutive trials to 8/10 work samples in ten consecutive trials.


IEP Goal: By (date), when given grade-level informational text on (topic) the student will find the main or central idea in text by finding supporting details within the text, improving reading comprehension skills from 0/10 work samples out of ten consecutive trials to 8/10 work samples in ten consecutive trials.


IEP Goal: By (date), when given 2 grade-level informational texts on (topic) the student will find the main or central idea and combine the main ideas of both texts, improving reading comprehension skills from 0/10 work samples out of ten consecutive trials to 8/10 work samples in ten consecutive trials.


IEP Goal: By (date), when given grade-level informational text on (topic), the student will highlight common details within the text and infer what may be the main idea, improving reading comprehension skills from 0/10 work samples out of ten consecutive trials to 8/10 work samples in ten consecutive trials.


There are many benefits to finding the main or central idea in text, but here are three of the most important:


1. When students can identify the main or central idea in a text, they are more likely to understand what they are reading. The main or central idea is the most important part of a text and understanding it is essential to reading comprehension.


2. When students can identify the main or central idea in a text, they are more likely to remember what they have read. The main or central idea is the most important part of a text and by focusing on it, students will be more likely to remember the information.

3. When students can identify the main or central idea in a text, they are more likely to be able to identify the author’s purpose for writing. The main or central idea is the most important part of a text and by understanding it, students will be able to understand the author’s purpose.

To find the main or central idea in text, students need to be able to identify supporting details. Supporting details are facts, statistics, examples, or other information that help support the main or central idea. They can be found in the text itself or they can be inferred by the reader.



There are many strategies that teachers can use to help students find the main or central idea in text, but here are three of the most effective:


Have students identify key words and phrases in a text that relate to the main or central idea; teach students how to make inferences based on information in a text; and provide opportunities for students to practice finding the main or central idea in various types of texts.

Finding keywords and phrases in a text that relate to the main or central idea

One way to help students find the main or central idea in text is to have them identify key words and phrases. Keywords are words that relate directly to the main or central idea, while key phrases are groups of words that relate to the main or central idea.

For example, if the main or central idea of a text is “The benefits of exercise,” some key words and phrases might be: health, fitness, weight loss, muscle strength, etc.


Teaching students how to make inferences based on information in a text

Another way to help students find the main or central idea in text is to teach them how to make inferences based on information in a text. This means that students will need to look at the information in a text and make a guess about what the main or central idea might be.


For example, if a text is about a lion cub and its mother, the reader might infer that the main or central idea is “the bond between a mother and her child.”


Providing opportunities for students to practice finding the main or central idea in various types of texts

The best way to help students find the main or central idea in text is to provide them with opportunities to practice. This can be done by having students read various types of texts and identify the main or central idea. It can also be done by providing worksheets or other activities that focus on finding the main or central idea.


The main or central idea is the most important part of a text and by understanding it, students will be better able to comprehend, remember, and identify the author’s purpose for writing. Helping students find the main or central idea in text is an essential part of reading comprehension instruction.


When working on finding the main idea, it's also beneficial for students to:

  • break down texts into smaller chunks to analyze

  • make predictions about what they think the main idea will be before reading

  • stop periodically while reading to check and see if their prediction was correct

  • ask questions about the text as they're reading both aloud and silently to themselves in order to clarify information and better understand the plot, characters, and setting.


Using some or all of these strategies can help your students become better at finding the main idea in text, which is an essential reading comprehension skill. If you have any questions about these strategies or how to implement them in your classroom, feel free to reach out! We're always happy to help.


Key Takeaways:

  • The main or central idea is the most important part of a text and by understanding it, students will be able to understand the author’s purpose.

  • To find the main or central idea in text, students need to be able to identify supporting details. Supporting details are facts, statistics, examples, or other information that help explain or support the main idea.

Using some or all of these strategies can help your students become better at finding the main idea in the text, which is an essential reading comprehension skill. If you have any questions about these strategies or how to implement them in your classroom, feel free to reach out! We're always happy to help.


Did you find this blog post helpful? Share your thoughts in the comments below! And be sure to check out our other blog posts for more great teaching tips and strategies.

This is the end of the blog post content. Thank you for reading! Hope you found this helpful. Please share your thoughts in the comments below! And be sure to check out our other blog posts for more great teaching tips and strategies.

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