Identifying theme in literature is a task with which many 5th graders struggle. The concept needs to be introduced and practiced many times and in many different settings. The theme is often identified through a character’s internal conflicts. This lesson integrates language arts and drama in helping students to learn to identify and understand a character’s internal conflict and to identify an author’s underlying theme. Through integrating these things, students should come to better understand other perspectives and cultures. This lesson is meant to build upon previous introductions to the language arts objective for theme. Visual media, literature and drama are combined for this lesson. This lesson is to follow the completion of a shared reading of Lois Lowry’s book, Number the Stars.
INTEGRATION HIGHLIGHTS: Students will use drama to show mastery of the language arts concept of theme, and will use literature to guide planning and improvisation of scenes that contain characters with strong internal conflict. The integration of these concepts will develop the College and Career Readiness Skill of understanding other perspectives and cultures.
MATERIALS: movie: Disney’s MULAN,
Number the Stars, by Lois Lowry
TIME FRAME: 3- 45 min. class periods
GROUP SIZE: whole class, then groups of 4-6