Determine the Theme of a Story

By (date), when given a grade level story, drama, or poem, (name) will write a summary of the text (3-5 sentences)... including the theme and (2) supporting details or facts from the passage in (4 of 5 trials as measured by teacher-charted records).
  • By (date), after reading a grade level story, drama, or poem with peers, then discussing the theme and supporting details, (name) will write a summary of the text (3-5 sentences) including the theme, and an explanation of how (2) supporting details support the main idea as measured by a (teacher-made rubric).
  • By (date), after reading a text at (name)'s instructional level, then discussing the theme and supporting details with peers, (name) will verbally provide a summary of the text (3-5 sentences) including the theme, and an explanation of how (2) supporting details support the main idea as measured by a (teacher-made rubric).
  • By (date), after watching a short film at (name)'s instructional level, then participating in a discussion about the theme and supporting details, (name) will identify the main idea when asked in a "true/false" format (eg. Is _______ the main idea?).

UDL Strategies About UDL

  • UDL I 1.3 Offer alternatives for visual information
    Instead of the student reading the text they must summarize once, some students may benefit from having the text read aloud to them, or having the opportunity to read the text several time before attempting to summarize it.
  • UDL II 4.1 Vary the methods for response and navigation
    Instead of students writing a paragraph to summarize the text, some students may benefit from providing the summary orally. Other students may create a poster or PowerPoint with images from the text to supplement the summary.
  • Foster collaboration and communication
    Instead of students reading the text independently, some students may benefit from reading the text in a collaborative group of peers. Each student can read the text silently, then a volunteer can read it aloud. Finally, the group can discuss what the main idea and key details are prior to writing their summaries.

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Common Core Standards

4.RL.2 Key Ideas and Details
Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.

Standard Staircase

Retell a Story

By (date), after participating in a read aloud of grade level text, (name) will retell a familiar story including (5) key details with teacher prompting (e.g. What happened in the beginning?") in (4 out of 5 consecutive trials as measured by teacher-charted observation).

Retelling Familiar Stories

By (date), after participating in a read aloud of a familiar story, nursery rhyme, or poem, when asked to explain what happened at the beginning, middle, and end, (name) will retell the story, including (3) key details, for (4 out of 5) consecutive trials, as measured by the teacher.

Retell a Story

By (date), after reading a grade level story, (name) will verbally describe the central message and retell (3) key details of the text as measured by (teacher charted records).

Restate Details from a Fable/Folktale

By (date), after reading a grade level fable, folktale or story, (name) will state the central message/moral, and then restate (5) key details from the story in (4 of 5 trials as measured by teacher-charted records).

Restate Details from a Fable/Folktale

By (date), after reading a grade level fable, folktale or story, (name) will state the central message/moral and (5) key details from the story that convey the central message/moral in (4 of 5 trials as measured by teacher-charted records).

Infer the Central Message of a Fable

By (date), after reading a long grade level fable (or a folktale or myth) (e.g. Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe), (name) will use at least (3) details/events from the fable to explain how he/she arrived at his/her inference about the central message (e.g. Kindness is rewarded over cruelty) for (2 out of 3) central message exercises.

Determine the Theme of a Story Current Goal

By (date), when given a grade level story, drama, or poem, (name) will write a summary of the text (3-5 sentences) including the theme and (2) supporting details or facts from the passage in (4 of 5 trials as measured by teacher-charted records).

Determine Theme of a Story

By (date), when given a grade level story, drama, or poem, (name) will write a summary (3-5 sentences) of the text including the theme and (3) supporting details about how characters respond to change in (4 of 5 trials as measured by teacher-charted records).

Determine Theme and Supporting Details

By (date), when given grade level literature, (name) will provide an objective, written summary about the text's theme with (3) supporting details as measured by a (teacher created rubric).

Analyze Development of Theme

By (date), when given grade level literature, (name) will write a summary about the text's theme with (3) supporting details that show how the theme develops over the course of the text as measured by (teacher created rubric).

Analyze Theme's Relationships to Story Elements

By (date), when given grade level literature, (name) will write an objective summary of the theme that includes (3) supporting details that show how the theme relates to characters, setting, and/or plot as measured by (teacher writing rubric).

Analyze the Central Idea of a Text

By (date), after reading grade-level literature, (name) will write an organized, focused essay of (150-300) words that includes an introductory paragraph containing the title of the book, its author, and a thesis statement that states the central idea of the novel that is developed during the plot; (3) body paragraphs that reference and provide commentary on specific details from the text that support the thesis; (3) relevant, direct citations from the text that support claims; and a conclusion that states the lesson the author relayed to the audience, whether the lesson is relevant to the audience, and justification for the choice for (3 out of 4) texts.

Analyze Central Themes of Literature

By (date), after reading grade-level literature, (name) will write an organized, focused essay of (150-300) words that includes an introductory paragraph containing the title of the book, its author, and a thesis statement that states (2) central ideas of the novel that are developed during the plot; (2) body paragraphs that reference and provide commentary on specific instances in the text that support the themes mentioned in the thesis; (1) body paragraph that explains how the two central ideas interact and built upon each other; (4) relevant, direct citations from the text that support claims; and a conclusion that states the lessons the author relayed to the audience, whether the lessons are relevant to the audience, and justification for the choice for (3 out of 4) texts.