Lesson: 2: Identifying Themes in Biographies

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Lesson Objective

Students will be able to identify a theme in a biographical text.

Lesson Plan

(I)       will explain that universal themes can be found in nonfiction stories about a person’s life. By reading articles, biographies, speeches, and other informational texts, we can identify the universal theme of a person’s life.   We can use the major events and accomplishments of a person’s life to identify what the theme of their life has been.  I will read aloud the article “Honoring King” (provided in unit) and will list the major events and/or accomplishments of Martin Luther King, Jr. on a chart. (Example chart is provided.) I will identify the universal theme of “Honoring King” as peace and equality. Martin Luther King led peaceful boycotts and won the Nobel Peace Prize. He wanted equal rights for all people regardless of race. 
(We)       will read the biography, Sojourner Truth by Gwenyth Swain and chart significant events from the biography in a graphic organizer. (Example chart is provided.) We will identify a universal theme from the book that represents Sojourner Truth’s life. Throughout Sojourner Truth’s life, she took many risks. She ran away and risked being caught and punished. She traveled all over the country and taught other people about God and freedom. The theme of Sojourner Truth is courage. 
(You)       will read A Picture Book of Ann Frank by David Adler (also from the Genre unit) and identify the main events or accomplishments of Ann Frank’s life. You will identify the theme based on these events. (Independent Practice is provided.) 
Note: You will need to provide your students with the story for the Independent Practice.

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Lesson Resources

"Honoring King" Reading Passage   Reading Passage
Direct Teaching Teacher Example Chart   Notes
Guided Practice Teacher Example Chart  
Student Independent Practice Worksheet   Classwork


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