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Grade: Middle
Subject: Special Ed

#3288. Thank You Ma'm Langston Hughes - Developing the conceptTheme

Special Ed, level: Middle
Posted Thu Nov 18 17:40:08 PST 2004 by William Welch (
Mulholland Middle School, Van Nuys, CA USA
Materials Required: Prentice Hall Silver level, Student's Reader's Companion
Activity Time: one 50 minute lesson
Concepts Taught: Literary Analysis, Responding to character's actions

Lesson Plan #3 Date: November 1, 2004
William Welch

Unit Title: Identifying Themes in Literature

Lesson Title: Developing the concept of Theme in “Thank You Ma’am” (Prentice Hall Reader’s Companion, p. 51 and PH text p. 171)

Time Needed: One class period of 50 minutes.

Standards Reference: 3.5 - Identify and analyze recurrent themes. 2.2d - Write responses to literature - references to the text.

Objective: Students will understand the concept of theme and identify this story’s theme

Pre-teach: Review and discuss the main idea of story in Reader’s Companion. Check for understanding. Pronounce the vocabulary words and have students read their definitions.

Materials: PH Silver Teacher’s Edition, Students Reader’s Companion, “Finding the Theme” adapted comprehension sheet. Literary Analysis:Theme Sheet and Responding to Character’s Actions (Selection Support Workbook p. 64-65).

Directed Lessons: Explain in detail the concept of theme. Give examples from two movies (e.g. Shrek and Lord of the Rings). Connect idea of character’s reactions to the idea of the theme using “Shrek” as example. Then further develop student’s understanding of theme explaining the “Plot Details and Themes” from PH Silver T.ed. p.397) Write the definition of theme on board. Check for understanding and involve all students. Provide more in-depth support for developing the concept of theme by having class answer orally the questions from “Finding the Theme” Adapted Comprehension Sheet.

Guided Practice: To help students understand the concept of theme, explain in detail and complete with them the Selection Support Skills Wk. p. 64. For “Thank You Ma’am”. (Responding to Character’s Actions). Again, reinforce idea that character’s reactions give hints to the theme.

Independent Practice: Students complete on their own the Literary Analysis:Theme Sheet (Selection Support Workbook p.65). Can also be given as homework.

Adapted and Supplementary Activities: Highlight the “Self- questions” at the top of Selection Support Workbook p.64 for emphasis. Provide additional support at the appropriate skill level in order for students to understand character’s reactions and the concept of theme by using the “Finding the Theme” Adapted Comprehension Sheet. While class is doing independent practice, complete the first “Word Web” for the Characters portion on the Literary Analysis: Theme sheet p.65 as guided practice with needed students. Have the TA circulate and read the directions and questions for p.65 to other specified students during independent practice.

Assessment: Responses during check for understanding. Selection Support Skills Wk. p. 64- 65 Responding to Character’s Actions and Literary Analysis: Theme. Adapted Assessment: After correcting class work and homework, give one-day extension to rewrite assignments for extra credit.

Adapted Comprehension Materials
Finding the Theme Date:____________________
adapted material created Name:___________________ Class Period:_____________
by William Welch
A Theme is the lesson or message about life that an author wishes to communicate to the reader
A Theme is usually implied or suggested by showing how characters react to the events,
people and places in the story.
1 Who is the story really about? Roger

2 How does Roger react after Mrs. Jones asked him why he tried to steal her pocketbook?
he tells a lie - "I didn't aim to".

3 Why do you think Roger lied to Mrs. Jones? He was afraid

4 What does Mrs. Jones say when Roger apologizes?
Your face is dirty. I got a mind to wash your
face. Ain't you got nobody at home…?

5 Are you surprised with Mrs. Jones' reaction? Why or why not?

6 Why do you think Mrs. Jones makes Roger wash his face and then eat dinner with her?
She feels sorry/compassion

7 How does Mrs. Jones treat Roger? with kindness

8 Why does Roger try to steal the purse? for blue suede shoes

9 How does Mrs. Jones react to Roger's answer? She says Roger could have just asked her
for the money. He didn't have to steal.

10 How does Roger react to Mrs. Jones' saying that Roger could of just asked her for the money?
A long pause, a very long pause.

11 What is Roger thinking about here (with the pause)? He's surprised and he's thinking what to do.

p54 Re-read the first two paragraphs out loud on page 54.
12 After Roger frowned, what did Mrs. Jones say? Um-hum, you thought I was going to say, but
I didn't snatch other people's pocketbooks.

13 How did Mrs. Jones know what Roger was thinking? She saw his frown and figured it out.

14 Have you ever noticed a look on someone's face and known what they were thinking?
Give an example from your life

15 Now what does Mrs. Jones tell Roger about her life? She has done bad things too.
p. 1
16 Why does Mrs. Jones not watch Roger or watch her purse?
She wants Roger to know she trusts him.

17 Where does Mrs. Jones work? In a beauty shop

18 Do you think she is rich? No

19 Then why did she give Roger $10 to buy shoes? To teach him about kindness

20 What do you think Roger learned from the way Mrs. Jones treated him?
various answers: Kindness and trust can
teach you a lot about life. Or the golden rule:
Treat others the way you want to be treated.

21 How would you like to be treated if you were caught doing something wrong? various

22 What advice did Mrs. Jones give Roger? Do not make this mistake again
behave yourself

23 What lesson about life does this story teach? various see #20

24 Is the story's lesson the same thing as it's theme? yes

25 Make a list of three important events or details that suggest the story's theme.
Detail: various kindness acts
Detail: Roger wanted to say "thank you m'am"