Lessons & Units :: Theme 3rd Grade Unit

Lesson 2: Events that Support a Theme

Lesson Plan

Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters | 720L

Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters
Learning Goal
Identify events in the plot that support the theme of a story.
Duration
Approximately 50 minutes
Necessary Materials
Provided: Direct Teaching and Guided Practice Worksheet, Independent Practice Worksheet
Not Provided: Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe, Boundless Grace by Mary Hoffman, chart paper, markers
  • Teacher Modeling

    will remind students that the theme of a story is the underlying message or lesson that the author is trying to convey to the reader. I will explain that stories usually have events in the plot that support the theme of the story. I will read the theme of the story of Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe aloud: “Kindness is rewarded over cruelty”. I will read Mufaro’s Beautiful Daughters by John Steptoe aloud. After reading the story once, I will go back to the first half of the book and model identifying the events in the story that support the theme. For example: Nyasha’s singing made her crops more bountiful than anyone else’s. This was because Nyasha was kind and happy and sang while she worked in her garden. I will chart the events that support the theme. (Direct Teaching and Guided Practice Example Chart provided below in Teacher and Student Materials.)

    TIP: Distinguish between events that support the theme and events that do not.

  • Think Check

    Ask: How did I identify events in the story that supported the theme? Students should respond that you read the story, thinking about the theme, "Kindness is rewarded over cruelty." Then you went back into the story and identified events that supported that theme.

  • Guided Practice

    will chart the remaining events from the story and discuss how each event supports the theme. (See Direct Teaching and Guided Practice Example Chart provided below.)

  • Independent Practice

    will read Boundless Grace by Mary Hoffman, and identify the events that support the theme: “Families are what you make of them”. (Student Independent Practice is provided below.) Note: You will need to either read the story aloud to students or provide them with the story for Independent Practice.

    TIP: Support struggling students by providing them with several events from the story for the Independent Practice. Students then can choose which events support the theme.

Build Student Vocabulary bountiful

Tier 2 Word: bountiful
Contextualize the word as it is used in the story Nyasha “always sang as she worked, and some said it was her singing that made her crops more bountiful than anyone else’s.”
Explain the meaning student-friendly definition) Bountiful means much more than is needed. When people said that Nyasha’s singing made her crops more bountiful than anyone else’s, they meant that her singing helped to make her crops grow so that she had much more than she actually needed.
Students repeat the word Say the word bountiful with me: bountiful.
Teacher gives examples of the word in other contexts I watered my vegetable garden everyday. By the end of the summer, my garden was bountiful. There was a bountiful supply of flowers in his garden.
Students provide examples What do you have that is bountiful? Start by saying, “I have bountiful amounts of...”
Students repeat the word again. What word are we talking about? bountiful
Additional Vocabulary Words considerate, proclaimed

Build Student Background Knowledge

Before reading the story, explain to your students that you are going to read a book that takes place in Zimbabwe. Zimbabwe is a country on the continent of Africa. Point to Zimbabwe on a map, next to South Africa and Botswana. Show students photographs of Zimbabwe's Victoria Falls, one of the natural wonders of the world. During the wet season, over 500 million liters (the equivalent of 250 million "party size" bottles of soda) of water plummet over the edge into the Zambezi River. Explain that this area is famous for its plant and animal life, some of which we will see while reading Mufaro's Beautiful Daughters.

Texts & Materials

Standards Alignment

(To see all of the ReadWorks lessons aligned to your standards, click here.)

User Comments

Thank you so much for sharing this. I look forward to using it! I love that it goes along with a story from the anthology that we use. This is a great way to compare texts by the same author.

I will look forward to using this site...wonderful examples broken down into meaningful lesson components. Bravo and thank you!

Enjoyed the stories and lessons. It would be nice to have Answer Keys for aids or parents volunteers to use when grading completed work.