Finding the main idea and the theme of a text can be challenging. I find that repeated teacher modeling and student practice helps considerably! I like to emphasize that there is an element of opinion in a theme whereas a main idea is a statement or very short summary of a work.
Ada's Violin, by Susan Hood is a great text to use for determining both main idea and theme. In this presentation, teachers and students are guided to find both. You can also add a very brief geography connection by having students find Paraguay on a world map or globe. In addition, I have included a list of vocabulary words for discussion before reading.
Students love learning about real people and their stories of perseverance and triumph. Children can never have too many role models!
This lesson is aligned with Common Core State Standards (CCSS) as well as Virginia SOLs.
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