Lesson Plan

Head to Head Fiction Reflections

Reading reflection topics like theme, problems, and solutions can be challenging concepts for young readers. Help your students make sense of these literary elements using dynamic organizers that draw comparisons between fiction texts.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Figuring Out the Theme pre-lesson.
View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Figuring Out the Theme pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will analyze fiction themes using dynamic graphic organizers for reading reflections.

The adjustment to the whole group lesson is a modification to differentiate for children who are English learners.
EL adjustments


(10 minutes)
Head to Head Fiction: ThemesHead to Head Fiction: Protagonists and ChallengesHead to Head Fiction: Problems and Solutions
  • Brainstorm with your students several details about each of the following stories: "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" and "The Three Little Pigs."
  • Post and take notes on a T-chart labeled with sections for "G.A.T.T.B." ("Goldilocks and the Three Bears") and "T.L.P" ("The Three Little Pigs").
  • Ask your students to turn to a neighbor and share what life lesson or repeating details come up in either tale.
  • Have students share out something they shared or overheard as a class and note student responses on the T-chart in the corresponding columns.
  • Explain that theme often comes in two types. The first is a repeating idea where the author uses repetition of literary devices (i.e., text, phrases, or events) to make a point. Another form is one that describes a lesson about life. For instance, "It's important to have a secure home," could be an inferred life-lesson theme for both G.A.T.T.B. and T.L.P.
  • Share that in the following lesson your students will learn to identify, compare, and contrast theme-related details between fiction texts.


  • Provide student-friendly definitions for the following terms: "theme," "life-lesson theme," and "repeating idea."


  • Ensure that students are familiar with the two stories by reading them in a small group to ELs prior to this lesson.
  • Allow students to talk to a partner about the details of the stories before contributing to the group discussion.