Grade 5 Reading For Theme Unit Study Guide:
Multiple Choice Questions – (6 questions)
 You will be given a poem to read to answer the following questions:
 Which sentence BEST expresses the theme of this text?
 Identify a detail from the passage that best supports an idea.
 Identify what a quote means.
 You will be given an excerpt from 2 stories to read to answer the following questions:
 What does a specific vocabulary word from the story mean?
 There is a true or false question about one of the stories.
 What can you infer about the character?
Short Constructed Responses – (3 questions)
 Reread the poem. How does the speaker from the poem respond to the challenge she
faces? Use details from the poem to support your answer.
 Compare and contrast the 2 story excerpts. Use details from both texts in your
 Determine the common theme of the 2 story excerpts and support your response with
evidence from each text. Explain how each author approached theme.
Essential Questions/Big Ideas – (3 questions)
1.) What strategies do readers use to uncover theme?
o Significance of the title
o Basic plot of the story
o Character change
o Lesson the character learned
o How the problem was solved
o Mood of the story
*** Include support from a text that you have read and what strategies you used to
help you uncover the theme. ***
Example of the book, Harvesting Hope:
 Significance of Title:
 Harvest: Means to gather or pick a crop, to reap. There is a lot of effort
involved in harvesting.
 Hope: A feeling of confidence; to look forward to something believing that it
will happen
 Basic Plot:
 Cesar Chavez’ family is forced to move from their home in Arizona due to a
drought. At their new home in California they work on farms, but earn very
little money and endure terrible working conditions. Cesar Chavez leads a
strike against a vineyard, and leads a 300 mile march to pursue getting the
rights they deserve as farm workers. They are successful and a contract is
signed guaranteeing better working conditions.
 Character Change:
 Cesar Chavez is scared to go to school at first. He gets made fun of in school
for speaking Spanish, and feels embarrassed. He is afraid and suspicious of
outsiders who try to help.
 At the end, Cesar Chavez courageously leads a 300 mile march that results in a
contract signed that protects farmworkers rights.
 Lesson the Character Learned:
 Cesar Chavez learned to stand up for himself and others – to pursue the rights
they felt they deserved.
 How the Problem was Solved:
 Cesar Chavez signed the first contract for farmworkers in American history,
promising a pay raise and better working conditions.
 Mood:
 Serious and suspenseful, but hopeful.
 Possible Themes:
 Justice is worth fighting for.
 Hard work can bring a great reward.
 Stand up for what you believe in.
 Face your fears.
 Perseverance helps us achieve our goals.
 Discrimination hurts.
2.) How can the same theme be communicated in different ways?
o In fiction, theme can be conveyed through…
 The main character’s words, thoughts, and actions.
 How the main character changes.
 The lesson the main character learns.
o In poetry, theme can be conveyed through…
 Mood or tone
 Figurative language (creating pictures and feelings with words)
 Word choice and format
o In nonfiction, theme can be conveyed through…
 Events of a historical time period.
 A cultural perspective.
 through: facts, research, and data
 In a biography, how a person overcame challenges in life.
*** Include support from at least 2 different texts that you have read that had the
same theme, but communicated it in different ways. ***
3.) What strategies do readers use to figure out the meanings of words, including figurative
language like similes and metaphors?
o Antonym clues
o Cause & effect clues
o Context clues
o Root word clues
o Synonym clues
*** Include support from a text that you have read that used figurative language
and how you found out the meaning of the word. ***
Example from the book, Weslandia:
In the story, Weslandia, by Paul Fleischman, there are many challenging vocabulary
 STRATEGY- Use antonym clues
o On page 3, the author writes:
“He (Wesley) had no friends, but plenty of tormentors.”
o What is the opposite of a friend?
o Tormentor – Someone who torments or bullies, the opposite of a friend; a bully
 STRATEGY: Use cause & effect clues
o On page 9, the author writes:
“You’ll have almighty bedlam on your hands if you don’t get those weeds
out,” warned his neighbor.
o What would weeds cause in a garden?
o Bedlam- A place or scene of uproar and confusion.
 STRATEGY: Use context clues
o On page 13, the author writes:
“Fruit appeared, yellow at first, then blushing to magenta.”
o “Yellow at first” indicates a color. “Blushing” signals a pink color.
o Magenta- a brilliant purplish pink color
 STRATEGY: Look for root words
o On page 14, the author writes:
“These he boiled, fried, or roasted on the family barbecue, seasoning
them with a pinch of the plant’s highly aromatic leaves.”
o What root word do you see in the word ‘aromatic’?
o Aromatic- Having an aroma – a noticeable and pleasant smell
 STRATEGY: Use synonym clues
o On page 27, the author writes:
His parents noted Wesley’s improved morale. “It’s the first time in years
he’s looked happy,” said his mother.
o A synonym for “happy.”
o Morale- how somebody feels emotionally: the level of confidence or
cheerfulness felt by a person or group of people