Lesson: Main Idea (fiction), Lesson 3

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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: Some problems are in the character's head.



  • Book Baggies with leveled fiction books
  • Ira Sleeps Over read aloud 
  • Familiar read aloud (pick one with a problem in the character's head; i.e. the character is feeling nervous/angry/sad about something)
  • Problems in Fiction Chart


Connection: Yesterday we learned that some problems in fiction books are problems between characters. Today we are going to learn about another kind of problem that you will read about in some books.


Teach: Problems are not always caused by another character in a book. Sometimes, the problem in a book can be in the character’s mind. When a problem is in a character’s mind, this means that it is a problem that has to do with how the character is thinking about a situation. I am going to show you an example of when a problem is in the character’s mind in Ira Sleeps Over.  Read aloud the book and think aloud about how Ira’s problem is in his mind. Scholars, did you notice how the problem in this book was in Ira’s mind? Ira was nervous about going to the sleepover and that was the problem in the book.


Active Engagement: Show students a copy of a familiar book that has a problem that is in the character’s mind. Have students turn and talk about the problem and emphasize during a share out how the problem was in the characters mind.


Link: Today when you read, I want you to think about if the problem in your book is a problem that is in the character’s mind.


Share: Have students share out any problems they found that are in the character’s mind. 

Lesson Resources

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