This unit is appropriate for students in grades 6-8, and remedial reading 9th grade. Three lesson plans on teaching theme are included which cover 5 days of theme activities. This is a great activity for teachers looking to actually have students write the theme and write a theme summary as the final outcome. Graphic organizers are included to help students organize the theme summary. Once students are familiarized with theme vocabulary and topics, the unit becomes more rigorous, first with videos and then with middle school level stories. This lesson can be challenging to students who have difficulty writing. A modified template is included, and highly recommended for struggling learners.
A theme vocabulary pretest is included so that the teacher can assess the student's knowledge of theme-related vocabulary and teach areas of weakness prior to introducing the concept of theme. Lesson 2 introduces students to theme and supporting details, as well as shows them how to write a theme using a graphic organizer and a "theme formula." Lesson 2 introduces theme using two Dr. Seuss movies. In Lesson 3, students put everything together that they have learned and they tackle theme with short stories. For each story, they must write a theme statement and summary containing the title, author, the topic sentence, the theme, and the several supporting quotes from the story. This is a rigorous unit so expect that some students will require scaffolding. Two additional theme graphic organizers have been included for this purpose.
Lesson 1. Understanding Theme Vocabulary
-Theme Vocabulary Pretest & Key
-Theme Vocabulary 4 Square Graphic Organizer
-Theme Practice Vocabulary Game
Lesson 2. Writing a Theme Statement and Understanding Supporting Details: Teaching Theme with Dr. Seuss Movies
- Match Supporting Quotes to Theme Worksheet & Key
-Writing a Theme Graphic Organizer, Examples, & Key
-Common Themes Reference Guide
-Finding and Writing the Theme in Dr. Seuss Movies: The Lorax and The Sneetches (available on YouTube)
Lesson 3. Writing a Theme Summary
-Theme Summary Graphic Organizer and Example
-Finding the Theme in Short Stories and Writing a Theme Summary: Stories included in this unit are The Country of the Blind and The Necklace
PLUS 2 Additional Theme Graphic Organizers and 1 Theme Writing Template for differentiation.