Sunday, September 14, 2014

Theme and Main Idea

Many of you have asked what trade books and materials I use to teach my mini-lessons.  I am trying very hard to blog once a week and share with you some of the books that I use in my classroom.  This week, we continued our study of finding the theme of a story.  For mini-lessons, I used the following books:

Those Shoes by Maribeth Boelts and Spaghetti in a Hot Dog Bun by Maria Dismondy.  The kids really enjoyed both of these books because they both had a strong message.  These books were great for comparing as well because the themes in both books are similar.



Throughout the week, the students read a variety of picture books in work centers to practice finding the theme of a story.  I love to use books my Patricia Polacco and Eve Bunting.  Some of the books that my kids used were:

Dandelions by Eve Bunting
A Day's Work by Eve Bunting
The Memory String by Eve Bunting
The Junkyard Wonders by Patricia Polacco
Three Hens and a Peacock by Lester Laminack
Mr. Peabody's Apples by Madonna
Thank you, Mr. Falker by Patricia Polacco
Chrysanthemum by Kevin Henkes
Chicken Sunday by Patricia Polacco
Brave Irene by William Steig

My students listened to the stories Brave Irene and Thank you, Mr. Falker on the i-Pads from Storyline Online. 

The students used the graphic organizer that matches my interactive notebook page for finding the theme.  If you would like a copy of this graphic organizer, you can download it for free here or by clicking on the picture.


Also, I introduced the corresponding nonfiction standard- finding the main idea.  First, I introduced this by using Deb Hanson's Main Idea Powerpoint.  My kids love her power points!


We also completed our interactive notebook page for finding the main idea.  As an added resource, I created this THIEVES acronym sheet that also gives students clues to help them find the main idea of a nonfiction passage.  You can download it here.  



In the past, teaching theme and main idea have proven to be very tricky and the students often confuse the two concepts.  I am thankful to my sweet friend, Mary, from Teaching with a Mountain View because she has some wonderful resources that I used this week.  They certainly helped my students distinguish between the two.  Mary has a great blog post that you can read about Main Idea Vs. Theme.  My students created a T-chart in their notebooks, used her theme vs. main idea sort (freebie) on her blog, and the task cards she has available in her store.  


Next week, we will continue to work on identifying the main idea in nonfiction texts.  I have some stations prepared to implement.  I will share those next week.  :)  

Have a great week!!!!!

8 comments:

  1. I am in love with the THIEVES acronym poster! Thank you very much for sharing it. Thanks for mentioning my PowerPoint, too! I can't wait to see your stations next week!

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  2. This is wonderful! I love the ice cream cone! Thanks for sharing!!

    Chelsey at The Wild West

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  3. Many thanks for your wonderful ideas! I look forward to your blog posts every week :)

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