Lesson Plan: Theme – Critical Reading

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Focusing on Themes

When it comes to language, there’s a lot going on under the surface. The words an author uses, the comparisons they make and the symbols they invoke all matter. All of these elements add up to make a theme. But how can we teach students this? First, we can emphasize key words and phrases, then challenge them to find the metaphors and the connotation, and finish by pointing out the importance of common symbols. And our free lesson plan on theme will help you do just that. Check it out here!

About the Lesson Plan

In this lesson, you will use Read Ahead AI to model close reading of Robert Frost’s poem, “The Road Not Taken.” Using Direct Instruction to model analysis of the poem, 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 their 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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