Finishing Song of the Trees By Thinking of Theme

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SWBAT think deeply about Song of the Trees by thinking through theme.

Big Idea

The song through the trees is theme!

Lesson Opener

5 minutes

Connect:  I will say, “Yesterday we read Song of the Trees, today we are going to finish the story by thinking about the theme or lesson learned from the story.   

Teach: I will say, “In order to have a deeper understanding of the text, I am going to practice the skill of paying attention to text details and the strategy of using Universal Themes. The process I will use is as follows:

1) Ask questions as you read

2) Stop and discuss

3) Infer a theme

I will read over the theme resource sheet and have the students practice with The Three Little Pigs (I could use any story they know well) and show them how most stories/movies, have one or more of the themes on the chart.

I will reread a part of the text that we read yesterday (page 105) where Christopher-John gets in trouble for eating the cornbread. I will ask the question, “I wonder if Christopher-John understands how much the Great Depression effects his family?” (connecting to the Prezi I showed yesterday).

I will use the theme from the Universal Themes Chart, “In life people struggle with problems and try to solve them.” I will underline (page 105), “Baby, we’re in a depression. Why do you think Papa’s way down in Louisiana laying tracks on the railroad?” 

Active Engagement

10 minutes

Active Engagement: I will say, “Now I want you to read the next page (106), jot a question, jot a theme and underline text details that are supporting that theme.” I will check for understanding by quickly reading the questions, theme and evidence from every level of learner (at least 3 students-one who is at standard, one is approaching standard, and one who is above standard).

Closing of Active Engagement: I will say, “Remember, in order to have a deeper understanding of the text, great readers and writers practice the skill of paying attention to text details and the strategy of using Universal Themes. They ask questions as they read, stop and discuss those questions and infer a theme. 

Independent Practice

25 minutes

Independent Practice: I will say, “We will finish reading Song of the Trees. I want you to ask at least one question per page, then every two pages you will stop and jot a theme, then underline at least two pieces of evidence for your theme.” Depending on the reading stamina of the class we will either read individually or as a whole class (one can also find an audiobook on line or see if your local library has it). I will confer as students are reading using Possible Conferences for Finding Theme and text details.docx

We read the text as a whole class while listening to an audio book. Here is an example of our class discussion we had stemming from our questions. Every two pages we stopped and discussed.


5 minutes

Closing: For today students will “write long” about their initial thoughts about the theme and turn it in so that I can assess where they are with theme. They can use the thought prompts poster below or thought prompt resource sheet.