Lesson Plan

Thematic Writing - Integrating Reading & Writing

In this lesson, students will discuss theme, which is traditionally taught as a reading concept, and they will use the themes they've found in various media to jumpstart their own writing.
Tara H.
Classroom teacher
Gretna Middle School
Gretna, NE
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My Grades 7
My Subjects English Language Arts
EdTech Mentor
Objectives

Students will be able to identify the theme of a short video or story.

Students will be able to provide evidence to support a theme in a story.

Students will be able to create a story based on a specific theme.

Subjects
English Language Arts
Grades 4 - 12
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Introduction - What is a theme?

Find a video on YouTube that introduces the concept of theme to students.

2 Direct Instruction - Model Identifying a Theme

Use this video "Presto" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O_yVo3YOfqQ or another of your choice and model for students how to identify the theme of the video.

You may begin by telling students that some of the topics of the video are: teamwork, kindness, neglect, etc.  Then show students how to turn those topics into complete sentences to create themes.  For example, teamwork is not a theme, but it's important to take care of the people you rely on  is an example of a theme.  Then demonstrate for students how to pull evidence from the video to support the theme.

3 Guided Practice - Identifying Themes

Have students watch one or two more videos (like this "Spellbound" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CB1Pukr0nFQ and "Sweet Cocoon" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D0a0aNqTehM) and have them work in small groups to identify the themes (and supporting evidence) of each video.

You can post the videos on Google Classroom and have students collaborate on Google Drive to keep a running list of themes for all of the videos.

4 Independent Practice - Identifying a Theme

Have students watch one or two more videos (like this "Day & Night" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LVLoc6FrLi0 and "Geri's Game" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u6g_5aThEv0) and have them work independently or in pairs to identify the themes (and supporting evidence) of each video.

You can post the videos on Google Classroom and have students collaborate on Google Drive to keep a running list of themes for all of the videos.

5 Writing with Theme in Mind

Now, ask students to work together to brainstorm ideas of stories they could write that would reveal one of the themes discussed throughout the lesson.  They could use their list of themes on Google Drive and choose 2 or 3 to create storylines.  Each story should reveal one of the themes already discussed from the videos.  Have each group share one of their story ideas.  Once students have a feel for how to incorporate the themes in stories of their own.  Have them use Storybird to create a story with one of the themes already discussed.