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6th Grade- Language Arts

Merrill Middle School

Introducing Theme Unit
Katie Peterson
1. RL.6.1 : Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well
as inferences drawn from the text.
2. RL.6.2 : Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through
particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or
1. Students will be able to define theme and develop skills to locate theme in a text.
2. Students will determine the theme of a text and provide textual evidence to support the
Materials Needed:

Theme PowerPoint
Notes Graphic Organizer
Theme Task Cards
Task Card Graphic Organizer
Twitter Birds
Chart Paper
Theme vs. Main Idea Sort


Welcome students to the classroom, have the students grab their portfolios, write in
Once the bell rings, do 5 deep breathing exercises.
Give students 30 seconds to get to their spots. 5 minutes of free reading time.


Introduction: Today we are going to learn about a new element of literature. We are
going to learn about theme. If you have learned about theme before can you your
Thumbs up, if you kind of remember theme Thumbs sideways, and if you havent learned
about theme before can you put your thumbs down. No matter what your experience
with theme is by the end of this unit you will all be experts.

Go through PowerPoint and have students fill out Notes Graphic Organizer:
1. Define theme (Put finger on the box)
2. Explain differences between main idea and theme
3. Provide examples of theme topics
4. Share guiding questions to help students use text evidence to figure out the theme
5. Model examples finding theme (Seedfolks & A Long Walk)
-listing topics
- Using the questions to find theme topics
-Writing a theme statement the author believes that ..
- Editing it to make it into a theme statement
Have students break up into clock partners. Students will be given 6 paragraphs.
Students will list theme topics and evidence. Students will write a theme statement.
After finalizing their theme statement the students will tweet their theme statement.
Teacher will walk around and help students.
Teacher will collect the Theme Tweets teacher will place the tweets on the stories
profile (chart paper).
Discussion about Theme Tweets: Why are our themes statements different? What is
similar about our theme statements?
Now that you have had some practice with theme I am going to challenge you and your
partners a bit. I have a sort that has some main ideas and themes. I want you discuss
with your partner and use what you learned about theme and sort the main ideas and
themes. Theme vs. Main Idea Sort (If time allows, if we run out of time students will
complete the sort later in the unit)

Teacher will collect the task card graphic organizer and compare students thinking to the
theme tweets the students wrote. Also students will complete an exit slip. The information
collected today will help with tailoring the upcoming unit to meet the needs of the students.

Exit Slip:
1) What is theme?
2) What is something new you learned today?
3) What is something that your still have questions about?