As we worked on main idea and details I used short passages from different books. My fifth graders were given passages based on their level. I pulled passages from Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Tuck Everlasting, The Phantom Tollbooth, Stewart Little, and Ella Enchanted. The students read the passage, and created a graphic organizer of the main idea and supporting details. Using the graphic organizer they wrote a paragraph including the main idea and supporting details and drew a picture that showed this. The picture was the hardest part, the students could only draw was they wrote about. The picture had to illustrate the main idea and details only. Below are a few of the paragraphs and pictures my students created. The passage is at the top, with the picture the student drew and the paragraph below.
The passages used from Tuck Everlasting and The Phantom Tollbooth were more abstract. I used these with my higher students.