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Lesson Plan: Poetry Theme

Subject:  ELA- Reading

Grade: 4

Lesson Objective: To understand and demonstrate how to determine the theme of a poem as well as how to summarize it.

Common Core StandardCCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.4.2- Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.




  • Do you think that it is important to know what you are reading about?  Why or why not?  (Allow the students to answer.)



  • Knowing what we are reading about helps us to understand what we are reading. 
  • Sometimes, it is very easy to figure out what we are reading about.  Titles of books or poems tell us.
  • Other times, we need to figure out what we are reading about.  This is called figuring out the theme.
  • The theme is the overall idea of what you are reading.  Books, songs and poems all have themes.
  • When figuring out the theme of a poem, you should pay attention to the words that are used.  If you can figure out who the people in the poem are or what is happening, that will also help you figure out the theme.
  • It is also important to be able to summarize what you have read.  Summarizing means that you retell what you read in your own words.
  • When you summarize something, you shouldn’t retell the whole story or poem.  You should think about the main ideas and then just write about those. 
  • It is also important to include a few details when you are writing a summary.
  • Now, you are going to be reading a poem.  While you are reading, think about the theme of the poem.  After you have finished reading the poem, you will write down the theme and then write a summary of the poem.
  • Does anyone have any questions?



  • Who would like to share your 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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