Inferring the Message

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SWBAT determine the message or theme of a story based on evidence within the text.

Big Idea

How do authors use characters to share a theme or message in a story? .


As we wind down to the end of this unit, we begin looking at the theme or message the author tells us in the story "Mighty Jackie" Strike- Out Queen by Marissa Moss. As we have over the last few lessons, we will rely on the character to help us infer the message or theme of this story.

Mini-Lesson: Modeled Reading

10 minutes

To begin this lesson, I revisit the story "Mighty Jackie" by Marissa Moss. In the previous lesson, I read a short excerpt from the story and we talked about the author's voice in describing the character and her actions. Today I re-read the story to students as a whole group. As I read I modeled by thinking aloud about parts of the story that highlighted clues that might share the theme with us. When I finished our modeled reading, we moved into our Guided Reading lessons.

Before Reading

5 minutes

During our Guided Reading lesson today, I meet with my 5 students and we focus on inferring the message in the story "Mighty Jackie" by Marissa Moss. We will do this by doing another "Close Read" of the text. I give each student a graphic organizer. Within the graphic organizer we talk about looking at four aspects of characterization that might help us infer the message. As students look at the graphic organizer, we look at character emotions, motivations, traits, and actions. We share examples of each and then I ask students to give an example of each from the story. After we share a few we move into reading.

During Reading

15 minutes

While students read, I have them focus on the four areas of characterization that we mentioned on the graphic organizer. As students read I ask them to fill in evidence of each of the four areas as they read in the graphic organizer. I remind students that this information will help us figure out the  message the author is trying to share with us through the character.

After Reading

5 minutes

After students have read and filled in their graphic organizer, we talk about all of the information students have recorded in their graphic organizers. After we discuss, we analyze what we have and I ask students to think about what the author may have been trying to say to us based on the evidence we've collected about Jackie. I record students' responses on chart paper to revisit in the next lesson.