Lesson: Theme of the Story and Providing Evidence

18 Favorites

Lesson Objective

Students will be able to define what theme is and extract a theme from “The Secret Zoo” while providing evidence for their theme.

Lesson Plan

Objective: Students will be able to define what theme is and extract a theme from “The Secret Zoo” while providing evidence for their theme.


Lesson Plan


Standard/Code/Name:  Theme  


DO NOW (5-7 minutes):  How do the Action Scouts support and take care of one another?  Why are they more powerful together than apart?  Why is it important to have good friends and also to be a good friend?  


Opening:  In most every story, there is always something that one can learn.  In “The Secret Zoo” there are many lessons that I could get out of the story.  These lessons are called “themes.” 

What exactly is this elusive thing called theme?

The theme of a fable is its moral. The theme of a parable is its teaching. The theme of a piece of fiction is its view about life and how people behave.

Direct Instruction (I DO):

In fiction, the theme is not intended to teach but, more provide an example of what happens when various events happen to characters. Theme is not presented directly within a fiction story; you extract it from the story. In other words, you must figure out the theme yourself.

In order to do this we have to analyze the details within the story

Finding the Theme

Use “Why Bat Has No Friends” to model this concept (see attached file)

Here are some ways to uncover the theme in a story:

·        Check out the title. Sometimes it tells you a lot about the theme.

·        Notice repeating patterns and symbols. Sometimes these lead you to the theme.

·        What hints does the author make throughout the story?  Hints to a lesson that is being learned.

·        What are the details and particulars in the story? What greater meaning may they have?

Remember that theme, plot, and structure are inseparable, all helping to inform and reflect back on each other. Also, be aware that a theme we determine from a story is not the main idea, but is something that we can take away from it as readers.

In order to be a good evaluator of theme, we have to make sure that we are providing evidence for our arguments. 

Model providing evidence for the theme of “Why the Bat Has No Friends”.  (see attached file)


Guided Practice (WE DO):

·        Read Chapters 49-53 with your students.  Allow students to read as well.

·        As reading is going on, students should be thinking about any lessons that they could take away from the story. 

·        Potential topics:

o       Friendship?

o       Determination?

o       Trust?

o       Believing in something?

o       Etc.?

·        Students are given post-its to jot down their ideas.


Independent Practice (YOU DO):

Students will complete THEME sheet for the “The Secret Zoo” by completing the theme sheet, providing evidence for their argument.



Closing:  Call the class back together at the end to discuss the various themes that students came up with AND their evidence.



Students will read to the end of the book (Chapters 53-end) and answer the following questions: (see attached file)


Mr. Darby says that Podgy is able to fly not because of his flippers but because of “the strength of his spirit” (p. 287).  How can the spirit be more powerful than physical ability?  How do the scouts prove that they have strong spirits?


When Mr. Darby invites the scouts to help protect the Secret Zoo as Crossers, Ella is surprised because they’re “only kids” (p. 286).  Do you ever feel discouraged because you’ve “only” a kid?  What can you do as a kid that might surprise a lot of adults?

Lesson Resources

Lesson 46 THEME   Classwork
Lesson 46 HOMEWORK   Homework
Lesson 46   Lesson Plan
Lesson 46 Why Bat Has No Friends   Reading Passage


Something went wrong. See details for more info
Nothing to upload