Author:
Bailey Jarvis
Subject:
Music, Elementary English Language Arts
Material Type:
Activity/Lab, Assessment, Lesson, Lesson Plan
Level:
Upper Elementary
Tags:
Lesson Plan
License:
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
Language:
English
Media Formats:
Text/HTML

Education Standards

Main Idea Vs. Theme Through Song

Main Idea Vs. Theme Through Song

Overview

A day 3 lesson plan on Main Idea vs. Theme using songs for the 4th grade.

Summary

This lesson is focused on Main Idea vs. Theme. I recommend 3 days on this lesson: 1 day of teaching main idea, 1 day of teaching theme, and 1 day of differatiating between the two.

I would do this lesson face to face.

I am the author of this lesson. The PDF resources were created by me.

Background for Teachers

To teach this lesson you need to know the difference between main idea and theme.

  • Main Idea: what the story/poem/song/section is mostly about
  • Theme: moral, message, or lesson of the story/poem/song/section

I generally teach this lesson using songs. It is fun for both the teacher and students that way. I have a list of Disney songs that I have found work well with this lesson:

  • "Under The Sea" from The Little Mermaid
  • "Try Everything" from Zootopia
  • "The Bare Necessaties" from The Jungle Book
  • "Let It Go" from Frozen
  • "Go The Distance" from Hercules
  • "The Circle Of Life" from The Lion King
  • "Hakuna Matata" from The Lion King
  • "Carried Me With You" from Onward
  • "Part Of Your World" from The Little Mermaid

I generally find the movie clips from YouTube and shown the songs with the captions or sing-a-long versions. I also try to have the lyrics in front of them so that they can easily refer back to them.

Here's two links to playlists that have the sing-a-long music videos to a variety of Disney songs:

https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLiNVoBckLqLlwlfLIh3a4bmuqzLkgEjjt

https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLIFMIFaS-tFALFXCQ-okr3Vc48S8TQX7K

Attached are graphic organizers that can be used to help teach and assess the students. I have created all of the resources myself.

Accommodations to students:

- there's multiple graphic orgnizer options that can accomodate for a variety of needs

- the lyric videos are accomodations, also showing them mutliple times

- printing out the lyrics

Step 1 - Goals and Outcomes

 

Students will be able to define theme and main idea.

Students will be able to find the theme and main idea of a song.

Students will be able to find evidence/key details that help prove the main idea and/or theme.

Standards Covered:

RL/RI 4.1 Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.

RL 4.2 Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.

RI 4.2 Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.

Step 2 - Planning Instruction

Prior to this lesson, students will need to have an understanding of finding evidence/key details and the importance of them.

The some of the resources included in the "Background For Teachers" section have differentiated pages for students who may need those.

Also, if you do use songs, you might want to have some rules ready to go for when you play them. Here are the rules I have:

  • They can sing, it can't be too loud or screaming. You have to be able to hear the song.
  • They can't get up and dance because they need to be focused on the lyrices. But if they're good, they might earn a dance break.

Step 3 - Instruction

*ALL RESOURCES CAN BE FOUND UNDER "BACKGROUND FOR TEACHERS"*

Day 1 - Theme

Pass out the mind map. Have the students think about and answer the questions on the theme side.

  • What are some messages you can learn from songs?
  • What is the definition of theme?

Have the students do this by themselves and with a partner before discussing it together as a class.

When discussing the mind map, make sure to clearly define theme (the central message or lesson that an author wants you to understand) and have the students add it to their map.

Using one of the graphic organizer options and a song, demonstrate how students might find the theme and evidence/key details to prove it. (They should already know about evidence/key details before this, but reviewing it may be a nice idea.) It may help the students to have this question in mind when searching for the theme: what from this might be a lesson for me in my life?

Do it again with two more songs: one where the students are doing in in partnerships and one on their own.

Day 2 - Main Idea

Have the students get out the mind map. Have the students think about and answer the question on the main idea side.

  • What is the definition of main idea?

Have the students do this by themselves and with a partner before discussing it together as a class.

When discussing the mind map, make sure to clearly define main idea (explains what the story or song was mostly about) and have the students add it to their map.

Using one of the graphic organizer options and the same first song as Day 1, demonstrate how students might find the main idea and evidence/key details to prove it. (They should already know about evidence/key details before this, but reviewing it may be a nice idea.) 

Do it again with the other two songs from day 1: one where the students are doing in in partnerships and one on their own.

Day 3 - Main Idea vs. Theme

Review the defintions of main idea and theme. Have the student practice with at least two songs, finding the main idea and theme of each. Choose one last different song and use it for the assessment. Print out the assessment resource and have the students complete it by themselves.

 

 

Step 4 - Assessments

 

*ALL RESOURCES CAN BE FOUND UNDER "BACKGROUND FOR TEACHERS"*

You can use the individual graphic organizers as assessments and comprehension checks.

Day 3 - Main Idea vs. Theme

Review the defintions of main idea and theme. Have the student practice with at least two songs, finding the main idea and theme of each. Choose one last different song and use it for the assessment. Print out the assessment resource and have the students complete it by themselves.