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Lesson Plan for Introduction to The Warden’s Daughter by Jerry Spinelli

CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.6.2: Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is
conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal
opinions or judgments.
Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing
the inquiry when appropriate.
Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources; assess the credibility of each
source; and quote or paraphrase the data and conclusions of others while avoiding plagiarism and
providing basic bibliographic information for sources.
ISTE Standards: Empowered Learner 1D: Students understand the fundamental concepts of
technology operations, demonstrates the ability to choose, use, and troubleshoot current
technologies and are able to transfer their knowledge to explore emerging technologies.
ISTE Standards: Knowledge Communicator 3A: Students plan and employ effective research
strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits.

Theme: Addressing themes in literature

Lesson Topic: Discussing books with the themes of coming of age, loss, death of mother,
incarcerated life, and dealing with anger, if they were accurate portrayals, and how those themes
relate to The Warden’s Daughter

Students will discuss theme and a few themes in particular as they relate to The Warden’s
Daughter by Jerry Spinelli

Learning Strategies: Brainstorming, set learning targets/goals, progress monitoring, access

information sources, cooperation

Key Vocabulary: Theme, Incarceration

Materials: Each student should have a laptop with internet access.

Motivation: Set the lesson’s learning targets:

*I can explain theme and identify common themes in literature.
*I can identify books that have the themes of coming of age, loss, incarceration, and dealing
with anger. Tell students they will see these themes in The Warden’s Daughter.
*I can use appropriate resources to further research my specific theme.

Review theme. Have students discuss theme with a partner and discuss common themes seen
over and over again in literature (friendship, survival, patriotism, prejudice, love, life & death,
Presentation: After reviewing a definition of theme, introduce the main themes of The
Warden’s Daughter which include coming of age, loss/death, incarceration, and dealing with
anger. Through whole group discussion, come up with an understanding of each theme, making
sure students feel comfortable with each theme.
Then, ask students to brainstorm other books that they have read or movies they have seen with
these themes. Give 5-10 minutes to come up with some examples. Students may wish to discuss
with a partner. Share ideas.
For example:
Coming of Age: shows growth or transition; examples include Bambi, Boy Meets World, The
Giver, Charlotte’s Web
Loss/Death: dealing with grief and the grieving process, death and dying; Charlotte’s Web, A
Summer to Die, Kira-Kira
Incarceration: what choices were made/should have been made? What is life in prison like? What
are the effects; Lockdown, Holes, Monster, Rickers High
Dealing with Anger: anger issues, anger management, temper, lack of control; All the Rage,
Bruised, All American Boys, Destroy All Cars

Practice & Application: With a partner, students will do further research into one of the four
main themes addressed in The Warden’s Daughter. Students can pick or be assigned one of the
themes discussed in today’s lesson. Using internet resources, students will record and share data
using EtherPad.

Students should address most of the following elements in their research on their specific theme:
 What is theme and why is it important?
 What key elements might you expect to see/read about when you read a book or see a
movie with your theme?
 What do you think the author wants us to think about?
 Find an inspirational quote to go with your theme? Why does it work?
 Find a piece of art to go with your theme. Why does it work?
 Find a song to go with your theme? Why does it work?

Students will need access to EtherPad. Students should complete the following steps:, SSL enabled,, New Pad, name it your theme
(coming of age, loss, etc.).
In the upper right hand corner, click on the colored box and enter your name. That is your color
and everything you type will be highlighted that color.

Give students approximately 20 minutes to complete their research. Check in and monitor
students who may be struggling. When done, have students share with the different themes so
that every student heard a presentation from all of the four themes. This may be continued into
the next class if needed.

Review & Assessment: Ask students to think about all the different themes discussed today. For
the next class, have students pick a theme that they think fits well with how their life is going so
far. Write a paragraph introducing the theme and examples from their life that shows that theme.