Lesson: Main Idea (fiction), Lesson 10

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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 notice when problems get worse.



  • Book Baggies with leveled fiction books
  • Familiar Chapter Book Read Aloud
  • Familiar Read Aloud (suggested: Big Al)



Connection: Readers, we have been working very hard to identify the problems in our stories. Yesterday I taught you how you can use the blurb on the back of the book to help you identify the problem.  Today I am going to teach you a strategy for monitoring that problem.  I am going to teach you to notice when that problem get worse.



Teaching: Scholars, it is very important that you can identify the problem in your book.  That is why we spent nearly two weeks talking about how to find the problem in your story.  But now you are ready for the next step.  Once you know what the problem is you need to pay attention to that problem and think about what is happening with the problem while you are reading.  One thing you are definitely going to want to notice is when the problem is getting worse.  Usually things get worse before they get better.  Let me show you what I mean. (show using chapter book read aloud).

We have been reading  ___________________ together, and we know that the big problem in this book is ____________________, but that problem didn’t get solved right away!  Things just kept getting worse and worse!  (explain)



Active Engagement: (use familiar picture book such as Big Al – possibly reread it if necessary).  We’ve read this book Big Al, and we know that the problem in the story is that Big Al is friendly and really wants to find a friend, but he is so big and scary that all the other fish are afraid of him.  Al tries a lot of different things to make his problem better, but it doesn’t work out so well for him.

-Al tried wrapping himself in seaweed, but no one wanted to hang out with a big floating plant with sharp teeth

-Al tried to be silly by puffing himself up as large as possible, but they were even more afraid by how big he could be

-Al buried himself in the sand and tried to appear small, but then he sneezed and scared away all the fish

-Al tried to change his color to match the other fish, but he was so clumsy he ran into them all and they swam away



Link: Scholars, today and everyday you need to pay attention to the problem in your story and ask yourself, is the problem getting worse?



Share: Today we learned that readers pay close attention the big problem in their story and notice when the problem is getting worse.  Who noticed their big problem getting worse today and would like to share what happened with the class?

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