7th Grade Lesson Plan: Theme

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Summarize the Text

When it comes to reading skills, being able to identify theme is important. But what if we can help students build that skill while cultivating another? In this free lesson plan, 7th grade students will work together in pairs to summarize poems and mark words and phrases that suggest the theme. Students will only be given 30 words to summarize, so they’ll need to pick out important facts and leave out their opinions. By doing this, they’ll not only become better readers, but better communicators, too. If you’re interested in a lesson that builds multiple skills at once, then click here to get started!

About the Lesson Plan

The goal of this lesson plan is to have students identify the theme expressed in a literary composition or primary source, such as a poem, and to accurately summarize the text. This lesson integrates Read Ahead AI to practice close reading of two assigned poems. The lesson will utilize a think-pair-share activity to allow students to teach another student about an unfamiliar text by independently creating and then sharing an accurate summary of it. The language focal points of the lesson are theme, summary, fact, and opinion.

Start by splitting the class into two parts—designated as A’s and B’s, 1’s and 2’s or by the two author’s last name, McKays and Dunbars. Assign one group to read one poem and the second group to read the other poem, and give students time to silently read their selection several times. Once done, have students write a concise summary of their poem. They should do so in 30 or fewer words and leave out their opinion of the poem. After creating their summary, students should choose a member of the opposite team, such as their “elbow” partner. In pairs, students will take turns reading their summary to the other person.  After the first person shares their summary, the second person will share theirs. From there, you can either reconvene the whole class to discuss the theme of each poem, or you can have students discuss in their pairs. For the latter, have students use Read Ahead AI to mark as emphasis words all words or phrases that reveal the 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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