6th Grade Lesson Plan: Theme

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Making Discoveries

When we teach our students about language, we give them the tools to make their own discoveries. In this way, we as teachers are training an army of inquisitive thinkers, ready to excavate old texts—or explore new ones—and find what’s hidden beneath the surface. For this week’s lesson plan, the tools we’re giving students will help them discover the theme of a literary work. They’ll learn about connotation, metaphor, and symbols, and how these elements, when pieced together, can reveal an author’s intentions. Read on below for a detailed outline of the lesson plan, or jump right into the lesson plan here.

About the Lesson Plan

The goal of this lesson plan is to help students identify the theme expressed in a literary composition, such as a poem or short story. They will do this through examination of key words and phrases, symbols and metaphors, and connotation.

This lesson integrates Read Ahead AI to model close reading of Robert Frost’s Poem, “The Road Not Taken.” You will start by utilizing Direct Instruction to model analysis of the poem. Then, you will comment on important words that help suggest the poem’s theme. Next, you and your students will read several additional lines as a whole class, discussing your students’ observations of key words and their connotations and the repetition of ideas to form a theme. Third, students will continue their discussion in pre-arranged small groups (preferably of mixed ability) to finalize their observations of the features of narrative writing.  Students will focus on textual evidence, marking important words from the text that contribute to the poem’s 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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