● Students will identify a theme from a book
● Students will support their choice of theme
with evidence from the story.
Common Core Standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.2: Determine a theme of the
story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.2: Write informative/explanatory
texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information
Activities will be asynchronous
The lesson begins two weeks after assigning the reading book The One
and Only Ivan by Katherine Applegate. The lesson will run two weeks
with two lessons the first week and the last three lessons in week two.
The class will be set up in groups of 3 to 4 before the lesson starts.
Assigned reading: Pages 1-78, Pages 79-146 (the 2 weeks before the start
of the lesson) Pages 147-236 (week 3), Pages 237-300 (final week).
Students will use organizer beginning in week 1.
Lesson - Day 1 - Intro
Learn about themes by watching presentation by teacher including the
How to find a Theme
Answer questions about themes from popular stories in a classroom
Challenge: Think about another story you have read. Complete an organizer
on that story and submit it to our discussion area with notes about your
thoughts on the theme.
Throughout the lesson: Continue to take Notes Using Bubble.us while reading the book.
Lesson - Day 2 -Group Work
Students will meet in their individual groups to discuss
through Chapter 7. Discussion questions:
Rank the most important things that have happened
to Ivan to this point. Discuss your rankings with each
other in the class forum.
Choose 2 or more possible story themes to this point.
Cite evidence from the book to back up your points.
Take individual notes for use in the next lesson.
Lesson - Day 3 - Group Work
Collaborate with your group in discussion forum and then share on Kidblog.
Choose one of the possible themes from the previous lesson
Consider the theme. Ask students to think about whether they know of another story, or a song
or something that reminds them of that theme.
In their groups, students should write another story, draw a picture or find something (video,
song) that brings to mind that theme.
Students post their creation or what they find to the Kidblog.
Lesson - Day 4- Sharing
On our Kidblog, each student will comment on at least 2 posts from other groups. Remind
students that every post should have a minimum of five comments.
Teacher will comment and ask question for clarity, to promote critical thinking or to illustrate a
concept as necessary or for extension and differentiation.
Ask students to specifically comment about EVIDENCE of themes they see in the posts.
Lesson - Day 5 - Writing
Teacher will facilitate discussion in classroom forum about determining themes and will prepare
the students for their independent writing.
Students will be told to review their notes and to write an essay about the theme f Ivan the One
and Only. They will be reminded to include evidence of why they believe that is the theme.
Struggling readers to receive the book early, extension for final project, provide more video
resources about the book.
Students to be grouped according to abilities and compatible work styles.
Scaffolding resources for writing projects when needed.
Optional instructional materials available in workspace and blog for students to reinforce skills.
Extension Activities include extra challenge questions for days 1, 4 and 5
Bubbl.us brainstorming and mapping
Various optional technologies including KidDraw, PowerPoint, Voki.
Project-Based Learning the approach throughout the lesson with various
emphases on different days.
Lesson 1: Combination of content delivery and active learning in classroom
Lesson 2: Reinforcement of previous lesson. Cooperative learning in small
groups to achieve a common goal.
Lesson 3: Cooperative learning in small groups to achieve a common goal
Lesson 4: Cooperative learning and reinforcement
Lesson 5: Modeling by teacher
The design was based loosely on Merrill’s First Principles of Instruction:
Activation of prior experience
Demonstration of skills
Application of skills
Integration of skills
With Lesson 1 activating prior experience. Lesson 2, 3, & 4 demonstrating and
applying skills (lessons 3 and 4 also integrating a little too). Lesson 5 applying
mistersato411. (2011, August 8). How to find a theme. Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?
Maryland State Department of Education. (2010). Common core state standards.
Retrieved from http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/MSDE/programs/ccss/
Merrill’s First Principle of Instruction http://www.instructionaldesigncentral.
RubiStar: Create rubrics for your project based learning activities, 4Teachers: Teach With
Technology. Retrieved from http://rubistar.4teachers.org