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Lesson Plan: Theme of a Poem

Subject:  ELA- Reading

Grade: 5

Lesson Objective: To identify the theme of a poem based on details in the text

Common Core StandardCCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.5.2- Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.




  • Why do you think it is important to know the theme of a text that you are reading?  (Allow the students to answer.)



  • Knowing the theme of a text helps us to better understand what the text is about and what the author is trying to tell us.
  • The theme is what the text is about.
  • When you are figuring out the theme of a text, particularly a poem, you should first look at the title.  Sometimes, that tells us what the theme is.  If it doesn’t, you should read the text and then think about what the author is saying and the feelings that the author is using.
  • You can also paraphrase when reading a poem to help you figure out what the author is saying.
  • After you have figured out the theme of the poem, you should go back and read it again. 

This time, you should be thinking about how the author reflects on or speaks about the theme.

  • Reading the author’s words once you know the theme helps you to focus on the feelings and reflections that the author shares.
  • You should be noticing the types of words that the author uses and the feelings that those words evoke.  Remember, poems are words that are put together to make the reader feel a certain way.
  • Now, you are going to read a poem.  Read the poem two times.  The first time you read it, think about what the theme is.  The second time you read it, focus on how the author reflects on or talks about theme.  Then, you are going to answer the questions.
  • Does anyone have any questions?



  • Who would like to share their answers?  (Allow the students to share and go over the answers.)

Written by Kimberly Greacen, Education World® Contributing Writer

Kimberly is an educator with extensive experience in curriculum writing and developing instructional materials to align with Common Core State Standards and Bloom's Taxonomy.

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