I am back with post #2 for the Reading Literature Standards Chapter of my book club. This post will discuss Key Ideas and Details Standard 2 (RL.3.2, RL.4.2, RL.5.2). This standard is all about identifying theme and summarizing a text. The post about RL.1 can be found by clicking here and the post about RL.3 can be found by clicking here. Make sure you head over to those posts to grab the free printables for those standards.
Here is the progression of the standard throughout the grades:
- 3rd graders have to recount a story and then determine the message, lesson, or moral.
- By 4th grade, the term changes to theme of a text and the students have to support the theme with details from the text. Also the term recount changes to summarize.
- 5th graders have do all of this AND explore how the characters react to challenges and contribute to the theme of the text.
Questions to Ask:
The section on this standard spent a lot of time focusing on having the students explore the words used by the author. Questions to ask would be:
- What mood is conveyed through the use of this word?
- How does this phrase contribute to the theme of the story?
- How does the author’s choice of words help convey the message of the story?
Activities for Teaching Theme and Summarizing:
- Read fairy tales aloud as an introduction. Fairly tales typically have easily identifiable themes and are easier for the students to summarize. As an extension for the older grades, read twisted fairy tales from different points of view. These twisted fairy tales typically have different themes from the original. This leads to really good conversation about themes and how they are conveyed.
- Create a list of themes as a class (this works better with the one sentence themes versus one word themes). Have the students choose a theme and then “work backward” to create a story that conveys that theme
As promised here are the Common Core reading freebies that will hopefully help your students practice and apply this standard.