A central idea of a text is one of the main points the author is making.
(Sometimes a central idea is called a main idea.)
A central idea can always be supported with details from the text.
Central Ideas and Details
“The Flaming Sky” by Lauren Tarshis
1. Reread the introduction to the article. Which quote below BEST expresses the central idea of
this section?
A “Werner had a job on the greatest passenger aircraft ever built—the biggest, the fastest, the
most luxurious, and the safest.”
B “The1930s were difficult and dangerous years in Germany.”
C “In 1936, Werner, then 13, left school to look for work so he could help support his family.”
D “So many times, Werner had gazed out his bedroom window, hoping for a glimpse of the
magnificent zeppelin sailing through the clouds.”
2. Read the central idea of the section “The Joy of Zeppelins” below. Then read the lines listed
under it. Which line does NOT support the central idea stated in the box?
A “The Hindenburg was gigantic—as tall as a 12-story building and longer than two football
fields.”
B “. . . the zeppelin would zip through the sky at speeds of up to 85 miles per hour—twice as fast
as a typical ocean liner of the day.”
C “Most passengers were business leaders, celebrities . . . and lucky cabin boys, like Werner.”
D “[Hindenburg passengers] slept in elegant cabins, snuggled up in silk sheets.”
I chose _________ because _______________________________________________________________
_______________________________________________________________________________________
________________________________________________________________________________________
Core Skills Workout: Central Ideas and Details-HL
NONFICTION: “The Flaming Sky,pages 4–10
October 2016
Central Idea:
The Hindenburg was the biggest, fastest , and most luxurious passenger aircraft of its time.
Directions: Follow the prompts below to explore the central ideas and supporting details in “The Flaming Sky.”
Name: ___________________________________________________ Date: ________________________
©2016 BY SCHOLASTIC INC. TEACHERS MAY PROJECT OR MAKE COPIES OF THIS PAGE TO DISTRIBUTE TO STUDENTS.
PAGE 1 OF 2
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THE LANGUAGE ARTS MAGAZINE
3. Read the details from the section “Famous for Safety” listed below. In the box, write a central idea
that these details support.
Detail 1: “Despite the dangers of hydrogen, the Hindenburg’s reputation for safety remained intact.”
Detail 2: “German zeppelins had flown more than 1 million miles without one single accident.”
Detail 3: “Meanwhile, thousands had died in gruesome shipwrecks, like the Titanic in 1912.”
4. Consider the central idea of the whole article stated in the box below. We wrote one detail from the
article that supports it. Write two more supporting details in the space provided.
Supporting detail 1:
___________________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________
Supporting detail 2:
____________________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________
Supporting detail 3:
____________________________________________________________________________________________
____________________________________________________________________________________________
___________________________________________________________________________________________
Core Skills Workout: Central Ideas and Details-HL
NONFICTION: “The Flaming Sky,pages 4–10
October 2016
©2016 BY SCHOLASTIC INC. TEACHERS MAY PROJECT OR MAKE COPIES OF THIS PAGE TO DISTRIBUTE TO STUDENTS.
PAGE 2 OF 2
Central Idea:
“The Hindenburg was a zeppelin, and in the 1920s and 1930s, these remarkable flying machines ruled the skies.
Tens of thousands of people traveled on zeppelins.” (p.6)
Central Idea:
Zeppelins were a popular form of transportation until the Hindenburg tragedy.
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