School Improvement in Maryland

Using the State Curriculum: Reading/ELA, Grade 4

Reading/ELA | Informational | Literary | Writing | Language | Listening | Speaking

Lesson Seeds: The lesson seeds are ideas for the indicator/objective that can be used to build a lesson. Lesson seeds are not meant to be all-inclusive, nor are they substitutes for instruction.

Standard 3.0 Comprehension of Literary Text

Indicator 6. Determine important ideas and messages in literary texts

Objective b. Identify and explain a similar theme in more than one text

Seed

Students will read 2 texts that have been paired for their similarity of theme. A suggestion is The Whipping Boy by Sid Fleishman and The Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain. Once students have read both texts, both teacher and students will record any likenesses between the two texts. With teacher direction, students will isolate those likenesses of ideas between the texts that comprise the theme. Then students will compose a theme statement/s for the paired texts. Students will return to the list of likenesses and select items on the list that serve as support for the theme/s. At the conclusion of this activity students should be able to state a theme from paired texts and use text support to justify it.

Seed

As students read a series of text throughout a unit, marking period, or any other designated period of time, with teacher direction students should isolate theme topics and then develop theme statements for each text. At the conclusion of the designated time, a gallery walk should be organized where an entry for each text is displayed. The entry should list the theme and other pertinent information about each text. As students participate in the gallery walk they should look for a series of texts that contain similar themes and make note of them. After the gallery walk students and teacher should discuss the texts grouped by theme, present their findings to the class and justify their grouping.

Seed

Students should read multiple versions of the same literary text. (For example, The Three Little Pigs) After reading each text, teacher and students should talk about particular narrative elements: plot, setting, characters, and theme. Once all versions have been read, the teacher should begin a categorizing activity by designating a particular area on the board to place the title of one of the stories. (If titles are the same, differentiate them by numbering.) Then students should be instructed to review the remaining versions and select one that can join the original one on the board. As the activity continues, different places on the board may be needed to accommodate texts that are too different to be categorized together. Once the categorizing is complete students should look at those they grouped together, examine their themes, and, if necessary, adjust the theme statements.

Seed

The teacher will select and provide students with a variety of literary texts with similar stated and implied themes. A suggestion is the works of Gary Soto. In addition the teacher will give each student a copy of the following chart.

Text A Text B

Author's methods to reveal theme (character, imagery, dialogue etc…)

Method One:

Text Support

Method Two:

Text Support

Authors methods to reveal theme (character, imagery, dialogue etc…)

Method One:

Text Support

Method Two:

Text Support

Lesson/s learned by character/s
 
Lesson/s learned by character/s
 
Idea/Theme in Text
 
Idea/Theme in Text
 
Shared Idea/s or Theme/s in Both Texts
 
Text Support (Texts A and B)
 

As students read, they should be encouraged to note any similarities between the texts keeping in mind that the tracking of similar themes is the ultimate goal. After reading, the teacher and class will discuss all of the similarities, beginning with broad likenesses and finally focusing on idea/theme likenesses. Next, the teacher should model as well as direct students in the completion of the chart. Once charts are completed, students will share their findings with the rest of the class.

/toolkit/vsc/lessons/reading/grade4/3A6b.xml