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Haley Harris

CIED 3253


Targeted Literacy Strategy or Skill: Inferring theme
Grade level: 4-5
Objective: The student will be able to distinguish between plot/main idea and theme. They will also be
able to list a number of themes from one story using their background knowledge as well as clues from
the text. Students will be able to provide text evidence from the themes that they discover in stories.
Common Core State Standard/ PASS Standard:
Standard 3: Comprehension/Critical Literacy - The student will interact with the words and concepts in
the text to construct an appropriate meaning.
2. Inferences and Interpretation
a. Apply prior knowledge and experience to make inferences and respond to new information
presented in text.
b. Draw inferences and conclusions about text and support them with textual evidence and prior
3. Summary and Generalization
a. Summarize and paraphrase information from entire reading selection including the main idea
and significant supporting details.
b. Make generalizations with information gleaned from text.
c. Support ideas and arguments by reference to relevant aspects of text and issues across texts.
Standard 4: Literature - The student will read to contrast meaning and respond to a wide variety of literary
2. Literary Elements
a. Develop a knowledge of the literary elements of fiction (plot, problems, attempts to resolve
conflicts, resolution, etc.) and the text structure of nonfiction (compare/contrast, cause/effect,
sequence, main idea, and details).
b. Compare/contrast genres, themes, ideas, and story elements across texts read, listened to, or
c. Identify the author’s purpose (persuade, inform, or entertain).
d. Recognize and identify the writer's perspective or point of view in a literary selection (e.g.,
first person, second person) and how it affects the text.
Prior knowledge: (What students already know)
 Students understand that all stories have a plot/narrative structure.
 Students are able to recall their prior knowledge and use it to better understand stories.
 Students know how certain stories bring out certain feelings when they are read.
 Students know the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
Observations/Rationale: (Before Lesson) What did you notice in your students’ work that let you
know this lesson was necessary? (This will be an approximation this semester.)
This lesson will be executed whenever it is time to start this unit and introduce theme to students. This
will be the beginning of their theme discovery, but they will need more lessons similar to this in order to
fully understand theme.

Materials Needed
Lesson from (Name your source): Strategies That Work pages 142-144
Mentor Text: Teammates by Peter Golenbock
 White board/dry erase marker
 Book
 Pen and paper for each student
Student Groups (whole/small group/partners): Whole group
Mini Lesson Format:
 Connect (Engagement/Pre-reading):
Before the lesson, students will be engaged in a discussion about what theme is. They will be told
that theme is similar to the feelings that you get whenever you read certain stories. I will have
them recall the story of Goldilocks and the Three Bears and together we will decided how that
story makes us feel. From there, we will narrow down our feelings into themes. I will further
explain to them what theme means by showing them the examples from Goldilocks and the Three
Bears. Then, before reading Teammates, I will brief them on the story of Jackie Robinson and his
breakthrough into Major League Baseball.

Teach (Model/Explain)
Students were able to understand what theme is by defining it as the feelings that stories give and
how they pertain to overall life lessons. They see this through the model of Goldilocks and the
Three Bears and then again in Teammates.

Active Engagement (students try it out):
Throughout the story being read students say what they think some themes of the book are. They
provide textual evidence as well as what certain situations made them think of from their personal
lives. I will write these ideas on the whiteboard as they are said. Then students will do a reread of
the book on their own and write down more/other themes that they come up with. Then they will
do the same with other stories that they read throughout the rest of the year.

Link (Articulating the expectation that students will now use this skill/strategy when reading or
“Students, as you are reading other books, be sure to keep a pen and paper close and write down
the themes that you notice as well as the textual evidence that you used to discover this theme. Be
sure to bring your findings to share with your classmates at our next reading circle.”