What’s the Big Idea?


The big idea is this!  We are learning how to determine central ideas or themes of a text and summarize the key supporting details and ideas.  For the next two weeks, you will practice and apply your knowledge of theme.  (Two weeks?  Why, yes, alert readers, this is your Holiday Homework.  You’re welcome!)

To begin, review this Theme PowerPoint to learn about Big Ideas, what theme is and is not, and how to evaluate theme.

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 6.46.32 PM

Then, watch this Theme Tutorial to increase and solidify your understanding of theme.

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 6.57.54 PM

Now, it is your turn to create a story and determine its theme.  Click on Creating a Theme Practice to try it out.  Fun!!!

Screen Shot 2013-12-18 at 7.25.26 PM

After viewing these tutorials, practice what you’ve learned with this Theme Worksheet.  You may check your answers here to see if you are on the right track.

Finally, you are ready to apply your knowledge of theme and supporting details with your daily reading!

Your mission over Winter Break: Write a Response to Literature paragraph about the central theme of your book.

10 Steps:

  1. Choose a fabulous AR chapter book.
  2. Read for a minimum of 45 minutes daily.
  3. As you read, think about the “Big Ideas” or themes in your book.
  4. Make a List of Themes that appear in your book.
  5. Choose one central theme.
  6. Write notes on the details that support this central theme.
  7. Review how to write a Response to Literature paragraph.
  8. Write a Response to Literature paragraph on the book’s central theme.
  9. Evaluate your writing by completing the Central Theme Writing Rubric.
  10. Submit your paragraph on Monday, January 6, 2014. 🙂

Here are a few more tools to help you:

Sweet themes, sixth-grade scholars!

Ms. Rankin


9 responses »

  1. Dear Ms..Rankin,
    Kathy and I are reading the same book . We want to know if it is ok if we write the same thing cause she is at my house.

  2. Dear Crystal,

    First of all — HI! I hope you had a great Winter Break! I am proud of you for getting on the blog to do the “What’s the Big Idea?” blog work over your break!

    Secondly, I appreciate the fact that you are reading the same book. It is often fun to share the books we love with the people we enjoy. You may collaborate (work together) on your response to literature.

    Happy writing!

    Ms. Rankin

  3. Hi and Thank Ms. Rankin for letting us collaborate. Ms.Rankin, Crystal and I accidently forgot our science notes at the class. Can we still write it down on a piece of paper, and when we get back to school we can copy on our regular paper?

  4. Hi Kathy,

    Yes, Kathy, you may write your notes on a piece of paper and then transfer the information to your science notes. I am so proud of you for doing your science investigations over Winter Break. Keep up the great work!!!

    Ms. Rankin

  5. Dear Mrs.Rankin,
    I needed to tell you something about our homework do I need to do the main idea on the whole book or a part because my book has like 7 pages of one main idea then the other pages are different??? What do I do!!!?????

  6. Hi Cindy,

    I just got on my computer now. I hope my answer is not too late for you.

    You can write about a central theme in a section (part) of the book rather than the whole book if you like. Remember, there are usually several themes in a book. Your job is to choose which theme you believe is the central theme and then persuade your reader with your textual evidence.

    I hope this helps. Thanks so much for coming to the blog to further your investigation. 🙂 Great job!!

    Ms. Rankin

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