Lessons & Units :: A Wrinkle in Time 6th Grade Unit

Lesson 5: Thinking About Theme

Lesson Plan

A Wrinkle in Time | 740L

A Wrinkle in Time
Learning Goal
Use the plot resolution to explain a theme in a science fiction novel.
Approximately 2 Days (40-45 minutes for each class)
Necessary Materials
Provided: Plot Conflict Worksheet and Thinking about Theme Worksheet (Student Packet, pp. 21-22)
Not Provided: Chart paper, markers, A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle
  • Activation & Motivation

    Ask students to share the title of their favorite movie or book and discuss its message. Ask: "What was the main conflict in this book or movie and how was it resolved? What lessons did you learn based on the conflict resolution? Did the message of the movie or book impact your life, beliefs, or thoughts in any way?"

  • Teacher Modeling

    will explain that science fiction stories always convey a theme, or a message the author wants to tell the reader. There can be multiple themes in one book, with one main theme or message usually stronger and more prominent than the others.

    I will explain that one way to figure out the theme of a book is to look at how plot conflicts were resolved. I will review the plot conflicts we recently learned about in Lesson 4. I will evaluate the conflict of Meg vs. Self. I recall that as Meg rescues her brother and reunites with her family, the conflict within herself is resolved. Meg begins to have faith in herself and is happy and proud that she rescued her brother and, in turn, saved her family.

    I will think about what kind of message the author might want me, the reader, to understand about this plot conflict. I will think aloud: "What can I learn about life from the way this conflict was resolved? What do I think the author is trying to tell the reader? From what I’ve learned about this Character vs. Self plot conflict, I can say that it’s okay to be different, because Meg was different from other people and characters in the book. I can also say that you should believe in yourself, because when Meg began to believe in herself, she succeeded. Therefore, I can conclude that the author wants to convey the theme: 'It’s okay to be different and to believe in yourself,' or 'When you believe in yourself, you can succeed.'" I will write this theme on chart paper as one theme of A Wrinkle in Time.

  • Think Check

    Ask: "How can I explain a theme in a science fiction novel?" Students should answer that one way to understand a theme is by recalling the details of how a plot conflict is resolved and thinking about the message the author is trying to convey about the resolution.

  • Guided Practice

    will think about another theme in the book. We will recall how the plot conflict between Meg and her father was resolved. We can recall that Meg’s anger and disappointment with her father is resolved when she finally realizes he has human faults, and that he cannot save her from everything. This conflict is resolved when Meg realizes that she must do things for herself instead of waiting for her father to make things right.

    Using the information we know about how this plot conflict was resolved, we will think about the kind of message the author might want readers to learn from this plot conflict. Note: Possible themes for this resolution might include: “Take charge of your own destiny;” “Don’t depend solely on others for your own happiness;” or “No one is perfect.” We will write the themes about this plot resolution on chart paper.

  • Independent Practice

    will examine the major theme in the book based on how the plot conflict between Meg and IT was resolved. You will recall information about this plot conflict using the Plot Conflict Worksheet you completed during Lesson 4. (See Student Packet, page 21.) You will fill out the Thinking about Theme Worksheet in your Student Packet. You will identify the main theme of the book based on this plot conflict, and you will prepare to share the main theme with the class. (See page 22 in the Student Packet.)

  • Reflective Practice

     will come back together to discuss the main theme of A Wrinkle in Time. (Good always prevails over evil; love can save the day; etc.) We will keep a list of the major themes we have identified. We will engage in a discussion about the following questions: Why would an author want to include a theme in a book? How do themes impact a reader?

Texts & Materials

Standards Alignment

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