Group Size: Any

Time Required: 60 - 90 minutes

Learning Objectives: Students will be able to code the text with "Th" and jot down ideas about emergent themes as they read


Student Worksheet (attached)
Overhead transparencies of reading passages (attached)
Post-it notes to code the text

Do Now: (Add a Do Now to the Student Notes so that students have something to complete upon entering the room. I like to use this opportunity to spiral skills from prior lessons or to ask students to journal about a life experience that might help them to make a connection with today's lesson.)

Connection: Today we're going to add one more tool to our coding tool box. Just like with making inferences and asking questions, we need to move away from the graphic organizer, as we know that realistically, we won't always read with a graphic organizer by our side. Instead, we're going to start coding the text to indicate emergent themes just like we code the text to indicate the inferences we make, the questions we ask, and so much more.

Direct Instruction/Guided Practice:What have we already learned to code? (T will take responses and review symbols. If you are following this unit plan in its entirety, students should at the very least know how to code questions with a "Q" and inferences with an "I."  T will record a list of symbols and meanings on the board.)

From now on, when you think you notice something that might contribute to the development of a book's theme, you can just code "Th" in the margin of the text and explain yourself like you would on the graphic organizer. (T will add "Th" to the list on the board.)  You can do this as you code everything else you already know. Let me show you what I mean. Please follow along in today's notes and record what I record as I read aloud.

(T will place the overhead transparency of "Beauty" on the overhead projector and read and think aloud as follows.)

As you can see, today's reading is a poem.  When I read and code poems, I like to read them at least once before I dive in with my pencil or pen, so I'm going to go ahead and do that.  (T will read "Beauty" aloud from start to finish.)

Okay, now I'm going to go back in and mark up the text a bit to show evidence of my thinking.  

Beauty is seen
in the sunlight,
The trees, the bird,
Corn growing and people working
Or dancing for their harvest.

(T should complete this step only if S have been taught to code visualizations already.)  I've been visualizing this as I read.  I'm imagining the sun shining down on a field busy with people celebrating a fruitful harvest.  I'm going to go ahead and code my visualization in the margin by the first stanza of the poem.  (T will record "V" in the margin and circle it.  T will then sketch a quick picture of the scene as described to the class.)  Go ahead and do the same on your papers please.  (T will allow time.)

Beauty is heard
In the night,

Hey wait a minute...  I'm noticing some repetition here.  I'm noticing a pattern develop.  Patterns are one of our key indicators of the emergence of a theme!  I'm noticing that the speaker keeps repeating "Beauty is" and then describing nature.  I'm going to go ahead and record that in the margin because I think it's a noteworthy observation that will help me to develop my own ideas about theme. (T will record "Th" in the margin and circle it.  T will then jot "Pattern: 'Beauty is' followed by description of nature.")  Go ahead and record the same information on your papers, please.

I'm going to start over at the beginning of the second stanza since I stopped to write about theme in the middle of it.  I'm going to go ahead and conclude the poem for us, but I'll be looking to you to share your thinking with me at the conclusion of the poem.  Feel free to code the final stanza as I read.  

Beauty is heard
In the night,
Wind sighing, rain falling,
Or a singer chanting
Anything in earnest

Beauty is in yourself,
Good deeds, happy thoughts
That repeat themselves
In your dreams,
In your work,
And even in your rest. 

(T will allow a bit of wait time at the conclusion of the poem.)  Your job was to code the final stanza of the poem in preparation for sharing.  Before we share with the entire class, however, take a moment to talk to your table partner.  Share what you coded, and critique your partner's thinking.  

(T will allow time, then facilitate a whole-class share.  T will record S's observations on the overhead transparency, and S will add others' observations to their notes.)

Based upon our thinking and writing about E-Yeh-Shure's poem, what do you think a possible theme in this poem might be?  Take sixty seconds to jot some ideas in the margin of your paper.  (T will allow time, then facilitate turn & talk and a whole-class share.)

Now it's your turn to try one on your own.  Tupac Shakur's "The Rose that Grew from Concrete" appears on the back of your page.  You will have five minutes to read the poem, re-read the poem, re-re-read the poem, code the text and deliberate about theme independently.  At the conclusion of the five-minute period, please be ready to share with your classmates.  If you finish early, go back and listen to your brain again.  Are you having any additional thoughts you might be able to add to your paper to enrich our discussion of this poem?  You may begin.

(T will allow time, facilitate turn & talk, and facilitate whole-class share.  T should circulate during independent and partner work to listen for great ideas and misconceptions. T will record S observations on the overhead transparency during whole-class share, and S will add others' observations to their notes during that time as well.)

Link: Now it's your turn. As you read today, what will you be doing? (Have students read through the directions in the "Link" section of the notes. If your students also complete an assignment for their literature circles during this time--such as a role sheet--you should add this task to the "Link" section as well.)

Independent Practice: (S will read silently and code the text with post-it notes. Since all S should have selected literature circle novels and scheduled meetings with their literature circle groups for this week, small groups of S may be meeting at this time. T should be free to hold Reader's Workshop conferences with individual students and/or pull small groups guided reading or other interventions.  T may wish to focus conferences on identification of theme based upon S's graphic organizers, collected yesterday.)

Share: Our time for today is up. Please feel free to turn to your partner or move to meet with your literature circle so that you can share your work for today. Go over the observations you made as you read, and critique each others' thinking. (T will allow time for sharing and circulate to check for understanding.)

Closing:  Today we discussed one more symbol you can use when you code the text, the "I" to signify that you have made an inference!

It's time for million dollar question!

1. How do you code the text to indicate evidence of a theme? (Write "Th," circle it, and explain your thinking.)

2. Why do we ask questions? (To become better critical thinkers, to practice being envelope-pushers, etc.)

3. Note to the Instructor: Insert your own question here based upon objectives your students have mastered up until this point in the year.

4. What is a theme? (The big idea or message conveyed in a text)

Remember, tomorrow you will complete an assessment on this unit, so be sure to come prepared!  Use last night's study guide to direct your review of your notes.

Differentiation: Novels are differentiated by reading level and by choice. Active reading strategy: coding the text. Pair/Share during Direct Instruction/Guided Practice. Reader's Workshop conferences with students to encourage individualized goal-setting.


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