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Fat Tax Task 12: Theme and Rheme Theme and Rheme Theme and rheme help us understand

how information is conveyed in clauses. Writers put the Theme first and this orients the reader to what is about to be communicated. The rest of the clause tells the reader something about the Theme and this 'rest of the clause' is called the rheme. New information, which is the focus of the message, usually comes at the end of the clause or sentence. Writers usually begin sentences by referring to information known by the reader ('given information', which is not always exactly the same as the Theme and then add the new information. Writers use Theme and rheme to highlight information. The rheme in one sentence fre!uently becomes the Theme in the following sentence. "or example# New $ealand waters are overfished. This overfishing will have serious conse!uences... Theme is useful in helping students understand how to organise information at the sentence level. %ore on Theme and &heme 'mproving Text "low in ()* *earner +ompositions Theme as +onstraining "orce ,. 'nstructions# &ead both paragraphs below, without using a dictionary, and decide which one is easier to understand. The government wants to tax fast food and lower the cost of fruit and vegetables. The cost could be subsidised or the -)T removed from fruit and vegetables. To discourage consumption, a tax could be placed on fast food high in fat and sugar. The government wants to tax fast food and lower the cost of fruit and vegetables. "ruit and vegetables could have the -)T removed or be subsidised. .lso, fast food which is high in fat and sugar could be taxed to discourage consumption. /. 'nstructions# +an you think of any reasons why one is easier than the other to understand0 What is different about the two paragraphs0 To help you understand why one is easier to read, underline and mark the verbs and the sub1ects in the sentences below. The government wants to tax fast food and lower the cost of fruit and vegetables. "ruit and vegetables could have the -)T removed or be subsidised. .lso, fast food which is high in fat and sugar could be taxed to discourage consumption. 2. 'nstructions# .fter class discussion complete these sentences for the paragraph above. ,. The first sentence is about 33333333333333333 (called the Theme and they

want to3333333333333333333333333333333333333333333(called the &heme /. The second sentence is about 3333333333333333333333 (the Theme and the rest of the sentence is called the 333333333333333. 2. The sub1ect of the third sentence is 333333333333333333333. This is called the 33333333333 and the rest of the sentence is the 333333333333333. 4. 5ighlight the Theme of each sentence. 6. The given information in the second sentence is33333333333333333333333333333 7. These same words are found at the 333333333 of the first sentence. +ircle them. 8. The new information in the second sentence is 333333333333333333333333333333 and it is at the 3333333 of the sentence in &heme position. 9. The third sentence introduces a new idea. The Theme is 333333333333333333333 and the important new information at the end of the sentence is 3333333333333333 4. 'nstructions# Thinking about Theme and &heme read the paragraph below. The general population needs to be made fully aware of the risks to health by eating foods high in fat and sugar. .n excessive intake of these foods leads to obesity or overweight. This in turn is a risk factor for heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and some forms of cancer. .fter class discussion# ,. :nderline the main verb and the sub1ect in the sentence. /. +ircle the words that 'these foods' refers to and draw an arrow to the circle. 2. +ircle the words that 'This in turn' refers to and draw an arrow to the circle. 4. 5ighlight the Theme in each of the three sentences above. 6. +omplete the sentences below# 7. The 'given' information in sentence two is 3333333333333333333333 8. The 'given' information in sentence three is 3333333333333333333333 and the new information is 33333333333333333333333333333333333333333333 9. 'n (nglish the given information usually comes at the 333333333333333 of

the sentence and is called the 3333333333. The new or important information comes at the 333333333 of the sentence and is called the &heme. ;. .dd two more sentences to the one below using Theme and &heme. ' have been learning about Theme.

,<. 5ighlight the Theme in both of your sentences.

Task 12: Theme and Rheme - Teacher Information and Answers Teacher 'nstructions# )tudents complete section . of the worksheet. Then with the =5T pro1ected onto the whiteboard 1ointly complete section >. With a partner students complete section +. %ark answers before students complete section ?. Negotiate meaning through !uestion and answer before students complete (.

(xplain to students that the Theme comes at the beginning of the sentence and orients the reader to what is about to come and that the new information tends to come at the end of the sentence. %any sentences in (nglish are constructed this way.

@uestion )ession with negotiated answers. .fter marking verb and sub1ect ask students# What does 'these foods' refer to0 What does 'this in turn' refer to0 )tudents draw links as above. What is in Theme position in sentence one0 ('The general population' Which part of the sentence is the &heme0 (&est of the sentence What is the given information in sentence two0 ('these foods' which refers to foods high in fat and sugar from the previous sentence What is in Theme position0 ('.n excessive intake' What is the new information0 (.n excessive intake leads to obesity and overweight What is the given information in sentence three0 ('This in turn' which refers to obesity or overweight from the previous sentence What is in Theme position0 ('This in turn' What is the rest of the sentence called0 (&heme What is the new information0 (=besity is a risk factor for heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and some forms of cancer

)tudents complete section ( on the worksheet.