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Saturday, February 27, 2016

Teaching Theme- Disney Style

Hello! My name is Damien and I am a Disney Fanatic! 

I know, that's not much of a confession.  Heck, as I write this I am wearing a Mickey Mouse hoodie and watching the Disneyland 60th special on ABC (I cried twice). Disney movies, Disney songs, and Walt Disney World are a part of my soul. I am who I am because I was raised on Disney films!
So, what does all this have to do with teaching. Well, Disney always seems to find a way to sneak into my classroom and most recently it was to teach my kids how to identify, support, and write about theme. 


Here's one of my friends following along with the lyrics as we
listened to the song. 
The lesson started with me using an anchor chart to define the word theme.  I quickly passed out lyrics to the song "Let it Go" from Frozen, maybe you've heard of it-LOL. I told the kids that while I played the song I wanted them to listen while trying to find the message the author wanted us to apply to our own life.  When this was done we examined the lyrics for text evidence to support our theme. 




Here's our Writing About Theme Anchor Chart with
markers on what is expected when writing about theme. 
On our second day I modeled to my third grade heroes how to write about the theme as we wrote about Let it Go together. 

Over the next few days I exposed my kids to two others Disney songs giving them greater independence in finding the theme and the evidence to support it. We listened to "You'll Be in My Heart" from Tarzan and "You've Got a Friend in Me" from Toy Story. 

One of the great things about this lesson was that their was minimal "reading" required. I am an ICR classroom with five special education students and this allowed everyone to practice identifying theme without their reading abilities getting in the way. I also found youtube videos of the songs and placed them in my Google Classroom incase my friends wanted or needed to listen to them a second (or third) time. This really allowed my friends to focus on the skill and not be hindered by trying to apply it to the reading they were doing (that time was coming soon). 

 This lesson was a *magical* way to learn about identifying and writing about theme. 

Have a *Magical* Day Buddies!
-Damien 

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