Standards & Backwards Mapping

I chose the following standard because it promotes high levels of literacy. I think it is important for students to have the ability to read between the lines and understand literature represents more than a storyline. I want my students to really absorb information they read and understand its core by encouraging them to ask questions about their reading.



Common Core

Reading Literature >> Grade 5


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.


Objectives & Proficiency Goals:

  • Understand what a theme is and be able to distinguish it from other literary elements
    1. High Level: Correctly identify a theme without confusing it with other literary elements
    2. Mid Level: Identify theme, but occasionally confuse it other literary elements
    3. Low Level: Unable to identify theme
  • Identify literary themes by referencing evidence within the text
    1. High Level: Successfully connect text to identifiable themes throughout reading
    2. Mid Level: Hypothesize theme, but with few supporting pieces of evidence
    3. Low Level: Struggle to hypothesizes theme and identifies little to no supporting evidence
  • Engage in discussion regarding thematic elements and how the author uses themes within the text
    1. High Level: Enthusiastically engages in discussion and is able to verbally explain thematic ideas and convince others through corresponding evidence
    2. Mid Level: Participates in discussion on themes, but only provides opinions
    3. Low Level: Does not participate in discussion
  • Compare and contrast themes across a variety of literary contexts
    1. High Level: Demonstrates ability to find themes in a variety of literature and understands the differences and similarities in themes
    2. Mid Level: Demonstrates ability to find themes in a variety of literature, but does not demonstrate ability to compare and contrast
    3. Low Level: Limited to finding themes in only certain pieces of literature
  • Evaluate author’s use of theme and its impact on characters and storyline
    1. High Level: Understands the author’s use of theme and uses evidence to explain how the theme directs character actions and plot
    2. Mid Level: Understands author’s use of theme, but can provide little to no evidence connecting to characters or plot
    3. Low Level: Does not demonstrate ability to understand the impact of a theme in a story


Assessment Tools:

  • Students are required to record their hypotheses for themes within an assigned literary text and provide textual evidence that references plausible themes.
    1. For homework, students will use their reading literature notebooks to record possible literary themes and corresponding evidence during their reading assignment
    2. This assessment tool will allow me to see a student’s thought process and determine if they are understanding the key concepts of thematic elements within the assigned text
  • Students will engage in classroom discussions about potential themes
    1. Classroom discussion will provide time for students to voice their ideas and give students who are still a bit unsure opportunity to speak and hear other ideas. Discussion will be a great opportunity for me to ensure students are not confusing theme with other literary elements
    2. Discussions will be centered around new and existing ideas for themes and evidence that supports each hypothesis
    3. Students are encouraged to agree or disagree with their classmates and will be expected to provide evidence from the text to dispute an idea
  • Students are required to give a group oral presentation about which themes they agree to be in the text and which ones they did not find valuable evidence to support
    1. The group presentation will be a summative assessment presenting students’ ideas from the beginning to the end of the reading and how their ideas evolved and changed throughout the course of the lesson
    2. Groups are encouraged to use each others ideas to demonstrate how people’s personal feelings about a text can change what themes they may see or interact with
  • Students are required to give a summative written report explaining their personal hypothesis on theme, providing relevant evidence, and explaining if and how their opinions about the theme changed throughout the course of the reading


Learning Experiences:

  • Introductory classroom activities to establish the idea of literary themes with text
    1. Activities include theme-search worksheets (I Do, We Do, You Do)
    2. What isn’t a theme (confusion between symbols, plot, characters)
    3. Understanding how to find evidence in the text to support ideas about literary theme
  • Regular classroom discussion about developing thematic ideas
    1. Discussion will occur during each lesson
    2. Discussion should be facilitated in a manor that students do not feel they need to be “right”, and students are allowed to agree or disagree with each other
  • Group experience to develop collaborative discussion
    1. Students will help each other discover themes and find supporting evidence in the text

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