This is a mini-unit to teach the basic concept of theme. It will take 3-5 days depending on your students. In my experience, for 8th graders, theme is one of the hardest concepts to grasp—partly because of their age and their limited life experience. The structured questions and the “formula” provided here help young students find the path to discovering the theme in a short story, novel, or movie. The writing is aligned with Common Core standards.
What you get:
• An overview of the lesson plan and instructions on how to teach each section of the unit. Ideas and step by step instruction on how to apply the unit to what you are teaching now.
• A printable Student Packet that guides the students through the unit . This packet helps students realize what they are learning, and helps you as a teacher address the new Common Core Standards as well as tell kids why this is relevant to their learning.
o This packet includes
Unit plan/ Check list of Common Core Standards
Theme Formula worksheet
Sample theme analysis
Graphic organizer for writing a theme analysis
Prompt sheet/instructions for writing a them analysis paragraph
Quiz: What do you know about theme?
Student reflection sheet—what did you learn?
• 51-slide presentation to introduce the concept of theme
• 13-slide presentation guiding students in writing a theme analysis
• Answer key for “What do you know about theme.”
• How you can use this unit throughout the year.
This unit covers the concept of theme, questions to ask to find the theme, making generalizations in regard to themes, contemporary and traditional works, universal themes, literary elements as clues to themes, and making inferences to find the them.
This unit has helped my students for over 10 years (it’s been updated to keep it current!).
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