What is the Main Idea? Super Fun Deck Product Review

What is the Main Idea? Super Fun Deck Product Review image
My students have loved being answer detectives using secret decoders to find out whether or not they answered a question or filled in the blank of a sentence correctly. Now they can use the secret decoders from Super Duper Publications again to find the main idea of a story! Put on your detective hats and learn more about how to use this super fun deck with your students!

What is the Main Idea Super Fun Deck Contents

What is the Main Idea? Super Fun Deck With Super Duper Secret Decoder comes in a tin container. Inside the tin, there are two decks of cards (Levels 1 and 2; 60 per level) and a secret decoder keychain.

Secret Decoder

Prior to beginning play with the card decks, I would recommend checking whether or not the secret decoder works by removing the isolator strip from between the batteries. You can do this by pulling the battery compartment out, removing the strip, and pushing it back in. On top of the decoder, there is a button over the Super Duper logo which activates the decoder light. Pressing it gently will cause it to stay on until you stop holding it. If you wish for the light to remain on, you may move the on/off switch forward. It is a UV LED light, so make sure you/your students do not shine it into your own/each other's eyes. The batteries are replaceable if they run out of energy as they are two 3-volt coin cell batteries that you can find on their website or at a store.

What is the Main Idea Level 1

Next, choose a card deck to practice with. Level 1 (blue; #1-60) cards have 3-4 sentence and Level 2 (red; #61-120) cards have 5-7 sentence paragraphs on them. Each card has three choices for the main idea of each story on it with corresponding circle choices (labeled A, B, and C). Once the card has been read aloud, the client must choose which response is the main idea and can self-check his or her response with the secret decoder by shining it over the circles. The circle that lights up red is the correct answer. In addition, letter answers to each card are listed on two different informational cards (one red and one blue in numerical order).

What is the Main Idea Level 2

You can choose to use the cards as practice by themselves or use one of the Game Ideas on the Instructions cards. There are five different games in which you can play with the cards:

Story Ending Rewrite

Place the card deck face-down and have the teacher or a helper select a card and read the story on it. One player must change the ending of the story, then choose another card and another person changes the ending of the next story. The person with the most creative story ending wins!

"WH" Question Roundup

Place the card deck face-down and draw a card, read the story, and ask "wh" questions (or have the player who draws the card do this) about it. For each "wh" question that a player answers correctly, he or she gets a point. Play continues in turn and the player with the most points at the end wins!

Story Teams

The clinician must divide students into groups (2-3 students/group) and place the cards face-down. Each team must assign one member to select a card and read the card. Once a team chooses the main idea, the clinician checks their answer and awards a point if correct. Once that card has been completed, the team chooses a new card. The team with the most points wins!

Detail Detective

Place the card deck face-down and have the first player read the story on the card he or she chooses. The second player must recall as many details from the story as he or she can by stating them aloud. The second player will receive one point for each appropriate detail he or she states. Play continues in turn and the person with the most points wins!

Calling All Authors

Use the first sentence of the story on a card as a story starter and have the first player add up to three sentences to the story. The next player draws a new card and uses that first sentence as a story starter. Play continues in turn. Each appropriate sentence a player adds to his or her story starter will receive a point. Another way to play this game is to state the first sentence story starter aloud and have each player add one sentence in a circle. You can also have your students add a title to each story!

What I Like About This Product:

  • There are two different levels of difficulty differentiated by color/deck and number of sentences per paragraph. This way you can choose the difficulty to use with each student and use it with students at multiple levels of understanding story comprehension/finding the main idea of a story.
  • After using the decoder with other products, my students still fight over who gets to hold it. If it is a real problem, I hold onto it until the student has answered, then allow him or her to shine it on the card. I am very pleased that the decoder is motivating to my students!
  • You can use these cards to discuss the main idea of a story, retell the story, recall details from the story, answer questions about a story, and for auditory comprehension.
What I Would Like to See in Future Updates/Products:

  • Like I said in another review of a different product that had a decoder, all of my decoders have broken on the top.
Therapy Use:

  • Articulation/Fluency/Voice - A student who is working on articulation/fluency/vocal skills can read the paragraphs and questions on the various cards aloud using their strategies.
  • Auditory Comprehension - Read the story on each card aloud and have the client state the main idea, retell the story, recall details from the story, or answer questions from the story. The "WH Question Roundup", "Story Teams", and "Detail Detective" games also work on these concepts.
  • Determining the Main Idea of a Story - These decks are all about determining the main idea of a story from a 3-4 or a 5-7 sentence paragraph. You can use cards to have clients determine the main idea individually or in teams using the "Story Teams" game.
  • Expressive Language - Have the students add additional sentences to the first sentence of a story aloud by playing the "Calling All Authors" game.
  • Reading Comprehension - If you would like your client to work on reading comprehension instead of auditory comprehension, have him or her read the paragraphs to himself or herself and determine the main idea.
  • Writing - Have your client answer each question by writing down the main idea. If you have a group of students, have them all write down the main idea of the story, then read them aloud to see who has the closest answer. Another idea is to use the "Calling All Authors" or "Story Ending Rewrite" game, but instead of stating sentences aloud, write down the sentence(s) to add to the story.

You can purchase What is the Main Idea? Super Fun Deck from Super Duper Publications for $34.95. Replacement batteries and additional decoders can also be purchased from Super Duper Publications.


The author of Consonantly Speaking was given this product to review from Super Duper Publications. No other form of compensation was received.


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