5th Grade Lesson Plan: Theme

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Looking for Textual Clues

Identifying theme is an integral part of any ready assignment. We ask students to read and tell us what the author is trying to say, and we ask for evidence to back it up. But how can we teach students to do this? For 5th grade learners, it helps to have them focus on language. Looking at descriptive words, adjectives and adverbs will help them identify theme. And that’s just what they’ll do in this free 5th grade lesson plan. It’s part of a larger series on studying theme at different grade levels. Check it out now!

About the Lesson Plan

The goal of these lesson plans is to help students identify the theme of a text. In this version designed for 5th graders, they’ll focus on using textual details to do this. Students will use adjectives and adverbs to interpret the speaker’s attitude towards the topic or theme.

This lesson integrates Read Ahead AI to model close reading of Emily Dickinson’s Poem, “The Chariot (Because I Could Not Stop For Death).” Start by leading a discussion of the poem to model how a reader uses details from a text to determine its theme. Then, comment on important words and lines that help the reader understand the poem’s theme, especially the descriptive words, adjectives and adverbs. Finish by discussing with your students how these descriptive words show the speaker’s attitude towards the topic or theme.

Why Use Read Ahead AI?

All of our free lesson plans leverage the power of Read Ahead AI to help students become better readers. By showing readers key words and phrases before asking them to read, we can boost their overall comprehension. Furthermore, Read Ahead AI lets students choose which words they think are important. In this way, student voices quite literally become part of the curriculum. Time spent reading in Read Ahead is automatically logged as well.

If you haven’t already, you can sign up for a Read Ahead AI account here. You’ll need one to access the presentations we’ve made in this lesson plan. If you’re brand new to Read Ahead and would like a demo, we’d be happy to meet with you! You can sign up for one here.

Happy teaching!

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When Kids Can’t Read-What Teachers Can Do: A Guide for Teachers 6-12 by G. Kylene Beers
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6th Grade Lesson Plan: Theme

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