Lesson: Main Idea (fiction), Lesson 8

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Lesson Objective

SWBAT identify the elements of fiction (problem, solution, character, and setting); SWBAT select and justify the most important event in a book; SWBAT identify the theme of a work as what the author is trying to tell the reader.

Lesson Plan

Edward W. Brooke Charter School

Problems in Fiction Unit


Mini-Lesson: Readers can check the problems in fiction chart if they have trouble identifying the problem.


  • Book Baggies with leveled fiction books
  • Chart of Problems in Fiction



Connection: Yesterday you learned that you can reread if you have trouble figuring out the problem of the story. If this strategy doesn’t help, you could also use the chart to think about what the problem might be.



Teach: Sometimes problems can be hard to find. If you have trouble, you can use the problem chart for support.  Let me show you what I mean. Point to chart. Let’s see, one type of problem is a “conflict between characters.”  If you can’t figure out the problem, think back on the events. Do any of them have to do with an argument or fight between characters? Go back and see if this is the case.

If not, go to the second type of problem on the chart (internal conflict). Think to yourself, “Is the main character struggling with a problem in his or her mind? “ Go back and check.

If neither of these two problems work, the problem might be something else that the character has to deal with(point to book examples on the chart that correspond to this problem). You can go back and check to see if there is something hard that the character must deal with – Just like Willy had to deal with the fact that he couldn’t whistle.



Active Engagement: Hold up a familiar Read Aloud.  Say, “I’m not sure what the problem is in this story. I read it once and I couldn’t quite figure it out. Turn and tell your partner what I should do.”



Link: You should always try to identify the problem whenever you begin reading a book. If you have trouble figuring it out, check our chart and then go back and reread. The problem often becomes clearer the second or third time around.



Share: Who used checked the chart and reread to figure out the problem of their book? Remember to try this strategy if you have trouble identifying the problem of your book. 

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