So what is Theme? Theme is the underlying message or Big Idea of the story. Theme was our focus this past week in Reading, and students were introduced to a various selection of texts including fables, folktales and myths. Students evaluated text through a shared reading discussing the plot to determine the theme. We also focused on the following questions: Did the character grow? How does the title relate to the theme? What did the characters learn? Throughout the week, students turned and talked to discuss these questions as well as responded to them in their reader's notebooks. When responding to the text this week lots of modeling was done on how to justify your answer using text evidence. Finally students also discussed how some of the themes covered would apply to their own life.

Here's a look at the anchor chart used with the students throughout the week, taken from Juice Boxes and Crayolas

Here's a look at some of the literature that was used this week to discuss Theme.
I began on Monday with a Shared Reading using the text Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters, an African Tale. The theme in this text was "Kindness is rewarded over cruelty." The theme was given to students before the shared reading, and throughout the text we stopped to discuss the kindness that was exhibited by one of the daughters and the rewards she received. 

Tuesday and Wednesday, I used the basal to introduce students to another folktale, The Roadrunner's Dance. Tuesday and Wednesday we charted the plot to determine the theme.

Wednesday, students watched 4 short Aesop Fables on Discovery Education including: The Boy Who Cried Wolf, The Grasshopper and the Ant, and The Horse's Mistake. We also discussed how a fable is similar and different from a folktale. 

Finally, on Thursday, I used the myth King Midas to teach theme. We once again discussed how a myth is similar and different than a folktale and fable.

Next week, I will use fairytales, fiction and nonfiction selections to teach author's purpose, word choice and how the author's life influences the text. Some of Louisiana's Fairytales include: 'T Pousette et "T Poulette: A Cajun Hansel and Gretel, Jolie Blonde and the Three Heberts a Cajun Twist to an old tale, Petite Rouge A Cajun Red Riding Hood, On Mardi Gras Day by Fatima Shaik - (this book I will use to show how the author's life influences the text.)

This coming week is also our last week for Geography Skills, and we will culminate the Unit with a focus on the regions of Louisiana and it's culture. Students will collaborate in groups of 3-4 to produce a commercial on their Louisiana region. Stay tuned!

We would love to share some of our commercials with you through Skype! Leave a comment below so we can set a date and time to Skype with you, for us to share a bit of Louisiana culture and heritage.

Also, what fairytales or folktales are common in your state?

1 comment

  1. Hi Mrs. Shepard, Thanks so much for posting your theme idea! I love it! I really like how you will tie in nonfiction selections especially with the common core push for nonfiction/informational text. Thanks so much for sharing your unit plans!
    Kristin Cook’s Classroom Blog


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