Lesson Plan

Poetry Themes

Encourage your students to translate their understanding of theme to poetry. In this lesson, students will evaluate the theme of poems by sketching pictures and citing text evidence.
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Need extra help for EL students? Try the Poetic Personification pre-lesson.
View aligned standards
Need extra help for EL students? Try the Poetic Personification pre-lesson.

Learning Objectives

Students will be able to identify the theme of a poem using text evidence.

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


(10 minutes)
Readers Theatre: Poems of Robert Frost
  • Display and distribute "The Road Not Taken" from the Reader’s Theater: Poems of Robert Frost worksheet. Read through it once aloud to the class. Then, break students into groups of four to discuss the topic and setting of the poem. Provide a blank sheet of paper for each group.
  • Instruct students to circle all the unfamiliar words in the poem and then write a list of words the poem makes them think about (e.g., woods, choices, paths to take) on their sheet of paper. Allow them to draw pictures and visualize the words and setting of the poem.
  • Ask groups to share their notes with the class while you write them on the displayed teacher copy.
  • Ask students to share what they think is the theme of a poem. Tell them the theme is the main lesson or message the author is trying to convey. Write their responses on the board for reference later.


  • Summarize the poem for ELs before reading it aloud. Allow them to partner with other ELs that speak their home language (L1) and ask them to summarize the script after the reading.
  • Have them share their questions orally in their home language (L1) or new language (L2) in partners.
  • Provide a definition for theme in their L1. If ELs are Spanish-speaking, introduce the cognate mensaje.


  • Allow ELs to follow along with their own copy as you read the poem.
  • Provide sentence frames or sentence starters for their questions: "I wonder..."

Related Guided Lesson

Informational Text 3

3 online exercises
5 printable worksheets
View Guided Lesson
fourth grade
Subject Reading & Writing