What It’s About: Plot and Theme


ELAR-Grade-6 Literary Genres What It’s About: Plot and Theme
Students learn about the differences between theme and plot and discuss how they can find theme in a story. Then, they read the Greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus and examine its multiple themes. Next, they compare its themes to those of a poem with similar subject matter: the death of a brave young son. Finally, they choose two works they know and find similar themes in them.

This learning experience is designed for device-enabled classrooms. The teacher guides the lesson, and students use embedded resources, social media skills, and critical thinking skills to actively participate. To get access to a free version of the complete lesson, sign up for an exploros account.

1:1 Devices
Teacher Pack

The Pack contains associated resources for the learning experience, typically in the form of articles and videos. There is a teacher Pack (with only teacher information) and a student Pack (which contains only student information). As a teacher, you can toggle between both to see everything.

Here are the teacher pack items for What It’s About: Plot and Theme:

Preview - Scene 1
Exploros Learnign Experience Scene Navigation


Engage


Overview

In this experience, students learn about the differences between theme and plot and how they can find theme in a story. Then, they read the Greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus and examine its multiple themes. Next, they compare its themes to those of a poem with similar subject matter: the death of a brave young son. Finally, they choose two works they know and find similar themes in them.

Objectives

  • Identify the theme of a book.
  • Distinguish between theme and plot.
  • Compare the themes of a story and a poem.

Duration

One class period.

Vocabulary Words Used in “Daedalus and Icarus”

  • fiendishly: in a wickedly clever way
  • maze: a confusing, winding path with many false turns
  • frantically: driven wild with anger, fear, or worry

Vocabulary Words Used in “Son”

  • untold: countless, too much to count
  • mirth: joy and laughter


“What’s the story about?” That’s the question most readers want the answer to before they choose a story. It can be answered in two very different ways:

  1. “What’s the story about?” can mean, “What’s the main action?” For example, “It’s a superhero who becomes unpopular with ordinary people.” That’s an answer about the story’s plot.
  2. “What’s the story about?” can also mean, “What is the author saying in this story?” For example, “The author is showing that people can be cruel to those they envy.” That’s an answer about the story’s theme.

In this experience, you’ll learn about both meanings.

Objectives

  • Identify the theme of a book.
  • Distinguish between theme and plot.
  • Compare the theme of a story and a poem.

Look at the selections of artwork below. They both depict the Greek myth of Daedalus and Icarus.


Two versions of Daedalus and Icarus flying

Using the artwork, predict what you think the story is about.

Post your answer

Students who are not familiar with the story will likely make predictions about the plot. Students who are familiar with the story or with the genre of myths may make predictions about the theme.


In a word or short phrase, list elements of a story that can help you find its themes. To list more than one, separate your ideas with a comma, like this: novel, biography

Post your answer

Answers may include, but are not limited to, plot, characters’ traits or actions, characters’ interactions and dialogue, and author’s language. The takeaway is that an author can imply a theme in virtually any element of a story.


When everyone is ready to continue, unlock the next scene.

End of Preview
The Complete List of Learning Experiences in Literary Genres Unit.
Would you like to preview the rest of this learning experience, and get access to the entire functioning ELAR Grade 6 course for your classroom? Sign up using your school email address below. Exploros OER is free for educational use.
Back to top