As hard as it is to believe, poets don't just sit around writing down their feelings. They really want to tell YOU something.
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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.

You are watching: How to find theme in a poem


Explain how a series of chapters, scenes, or stanzas fits together to provide the overall structure of a particular story, drama, or poem.

For this lesson, students will be learning skills to answer the essential question, "How do we determine the theme of a poem?" The students learned about determining theme (R.L.5.2) in ourfiction unit, so this is something with which they are familiar, however trying this with poetry may be a bit more difficult. The students will need to understand the meaning of poetry, how the structure and elements enhance that meaning, and the speaker"s viewpoint in order to infer the theme. I"ve scaffolded the instruction thus far to help them make this transition, but it will take some practice, I"m sure.

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I like to get the kids motivated to learn, so for our activating, I made a Hot Seat Activating game. Cut apart the poems and the themes and tape them to various seats in the room. I like these poems because they seemed like ones my kids would like or might have some background with. Since we"re introducing theme, I wanted the theme to be pretty obvious, just to get the kiddos talking about them. I"m going to put one at each table group and tell the group members that don"t have one taped to their seat to help the one that does. The idea is to match the poem with the theme by interacting with peers around the room. This also helps with problem solving because the kids have to work together to find the match.

Today we"re going to play a game called "You"re in the Hot Seat!" When I ask you to look, you will all check under your chair to see if you have either a poem or a theme statement. If you don"t have one, you"ll help the friend at your table that does. Once you have your statement or poem, you need to find the poem or statement that matches. We"ve worked with theme before, so you do have some background knowledge to help you. I have chosen poems that won"t have hidden themes. This means you should be able to infer the theme easily. Ready? Go!