Determining Theme or Main Idea in Literary Texts


9.R.2L Determine a theme or main idea of a literary text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide a summary of the text.

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In this lesson, the student will work with literary texts to analyze, explain and summarize the theme or main idea. Understanding the theme or main idea is important because it helps the reader connect with the literature and it facilitates the flow of the narrative.

During the lesson, the student will be able to:

  • identify theme or main idea in a text;
  • explain how the details in a text support the text’s main idea;
  • analyze, explain and summarize the main idea;
  • write a summary of a poem and explaining the main idea and key details;
  • write an essay summarizing the main idea of a story and explaining how the details develop the theme and main idea.

This lesson’s content is of high educational quality. It is designed with a model of a conceptualization, definitions, examples, practice exercises and test with different levels of complexity. In addition, it includes rubrics for an objective evaluation.


19 items in example section

40 items in exercise practice

32 items in test

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