LAFS.6.RL.1.2

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.
General Information
Subject Area: English Language Arts
Grade: 6
Strand: Reading Standards for Literature
Idea: Level 2: Basic Application of Skills & Concepts
Date Adopted or Revised: 12/10
Date of Last Rating: 02/14
Status: State Board Approved
Assessed: Yes
Test Item Specifications
  • Item Type(s): This benchmark may be assessed using: TM , MS , ST , MC item(s)

  • Assessment Limits :
    Items may ask the student to determine a theme or central idea and how it is conveyed through key details. Themes or central ideas may be explicitly or implicitly stated in the text. Itemsshould focus on specific details used to convey theme or central idea and not the manner in which the author handles them. Items may ask the student to summarize all or part of the text.
  • Text Types :
    Items assessing this standard may be used with one ormore grade-appropriate literary texts. Texts may vary incomplexity.
  • Response Mechanisms :
    The Enhanced Item Descriptions section on page 3 provides a list of Response Mechanisms that may be used to assess thisstandard (excluding the Editing Task Choice item type). The Sample Response Mechanisms may include, but are not limited to, the examples below.
  • Task Demand and Sample Response Mechanisms :

    Task Demand

    Determine a theme or central idea that is explicitly or implicitly stated in the text and determine how specific details from the text contribute to how it is conveyed.

    Sample Response Mechanisms

    Selectable Text

    • Requires the student to select a theme or central idea and then to select words or phrases from the text to support the theme or central idea. 
    Table Match
    • Requires the student to complete a table that shows the connections between a theme or central idea and key details.
    Task Demand

    Provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

    Sample Response Mechanisms

    Multiple Choice

    • Requires the student to select the best objective summary of the text.
    • Requires the student to select a statement that should be included in an objective summary of the text. 
    Multiselect
    • Requires the student to select multiple statements that should be included in an objective summary of the text. 
    Table Match
    • Requires the student to complete a table that reflects an accurate summary of the text.

Related Courses

This benchmark is part of these courses.
1000000: M/J Intensive Language Arts (MC) (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
1000010: M/J Intensive Reading 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2021 (current), 2021 and beyond)
1000020: M/J Intensive Reading and Career Planning (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2019, 2019 - 2021 (current), 2021 and beyond)
1001010: M/J Language Arts 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
1001020: M/J Language Arts 1 Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
1002000: M/J Language Arts 1 Through ESOL (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
1002180: M/J English Language Development (MC) (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
1006000: M/J Journalism 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2021 (current), 2021 and beyond)
1007000: M/J Speech and Debate 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2019, 2019 - 2021 (current), 2021 and beyond)
1008010: M/J Reading 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2021 (course terminated))
1008020: M/J Reading 1, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2021 (course terminated))
1009030: M/J Writing 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
1700000: M/J Research 1 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
7810011: Access M/J Language Arts 1  (Specifically in versions: 2013 - 2015, 2015 - 2018, 2018 and beyond (current))
1002181: M/J Developmental Language Arts Through ESOL (Reading) (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
1007025: M/J Speech and Debate (Specifically in versions: 2015 - 2019, 2019 and beyond (current))

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
LAFS.6.RL.1.AP.2a: Select key details about a character and relate those details to a theme within the text.
LAFS.6.RL.1.AP.2b: Determine the theme(s) of a story, drama or poem, including how it is conveyed through particular details.
LAFS.6.RL.1.AP.2c: Summarize a text from beginning to end in a few sentences without including personal opinions.

Related Resources

Vetted resources educators can use to teach the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Formative Assessments

A Book Jacket Summary:

The student will read a literary passage using active reading strategies. After a teacher-facilitated class discussion, the student will complete a graphic organizer to assist in summarizing the story, distinct from personal opinions or judgments, which will include the central idea and supporting details. When the graphic organizer is completed, the student will create a book jacket for the story using an electronic template or by creating their own.

Type: Formative Assessment

Identifying the Theme Of “The Watch” :

The student will read a narrative text and cite evidence that will help determine the theme of a story. The student will record the evidence on a graphic organizer and consolidate it to discover the theme of the story. Finally, the student will write an objective summary of the story.

Type: Formative Assessment

Theme - It's All in the Details:

The student will read a literary text and determine a theme or central idea of the text as well as how it is conveyed through particular details. The student will then provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

Type: Formative Assessment

Judging the Value of an Egg:

The student will independently read a grade-level-appropriate literary text and complete a central idea graphic organizer to record a central idea and supporting details. After completion of the graphic organizer, the student will write a paragraph that summarizes the text without the use of personal opinions or judgments and shows understanding of the central idea he or she cited in the text and how it is conveyed through details.

Type: Formative Assessment

Lesson Plans

Views on Freedom: Part 1 of 3:

This lesson is the first in a series of three focusing on the importance of freedom. In this lesson, students begin with a journal entry about freedom. Students then read two poems - "Words Like Freedom" (originally titled "Refugee in America") by Langston Hughes and "Sympathy" by Paul Laurence Dunbar - analyzing each poem according to literary and poetic elements. Text questions, a poetry chart, sample answer keys, and a PowerPoint are included.  

Type: Lesson Plan

"The Scribe": A Close Reading Lesson:

This close reading lesson focuses on identifying theme in the short story, "The Scribe" by Kristin Hunter. The lesson incorporates information on the Great Depression and allows students to make a cross-curricular connection between history and language arts. Students will define unfamiliar words using context clues, analyze story elements, and identify stated and implied themes.

Type: Lesson Plan

Philosophical Chairs with Tom Sawyer:

In this lesson, students will close read a short section (chapter 23) of Twain"s The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, gathering and organizing evidence to collaboratively defend a position with textual support in a debate-style activity. They will use this experience to assist with the creation of an extended written paragraph addressing the development of theme in Twain"s novel, this time citing evidence in writing to support their assertions.

Type: Lesson Plan

Childhood Rememberances: Life and Art Intersect in Nikki GIovani's "Nikki-Rosa":

In her poem "Nikki-Rosa," Nikki Giovanni describes specific moments from her childhood. The images she recalls are more than biographical details; they are evidence to support her premise that growing up black doesn't always mean growing up in hardship. Adapted from Carol Jago's Nikki Giovanni in the Classroom, this lesson invites students to explore what Jago calls the place "where life and art intersect" by carefully reading and discussing Giovanni's poem. They explore their own childhood memories using an interactive tool and then write about these memories, using Giovanni's poem as a model.

Type: Lesson Plan

"Breaking the Code" to Central Idea:

This lesson challenges students to use strategies of "chunking" and "text coding" to identify the central or main idea of passages, both informational and literary. The end result is a written summary that explains the processes they used.

Type: Lesson Plan

Narrative Retelling: The Enchanted Raisin:

This three-block lesson includes an interactive collaborative vocabulary activity, a guided read of the short story "The Enchanted Raisin," and culminates in a narrative storyboard planning activity and creation of a picture book with the goal of retelling the story to a younger audience.

Type: Lesson Plan

On the Road to Change: A Poetic Comparison:

In this lesson, students will analyze the song "Time of Your Life" by Green Day and two Robert Frost poems, "The Road Not Taken" and "Nothing Gold Can Stay."The instructor will model authors usage of symbolism, imagery, figurative language, tone and theme. Students will complete a graphic organizer and work toward the culminating activity of an essay comparing two of the pieces of literature.

Type: Lesson Plan

Reciprocal Teaching Strategies in Poetry: "The Copper Kettle Sweetheart":

In this lesson, students will use the four core reading strategies of predicting, clarifying, questioning and summarizing to develop comprehension skills through the use of poetry.

Type: Lesson Plan

A Poignant Passage about the Middle Passage:

In this lesson, students will explore what makes a passage poignant by analyzing an important chapter from the historical fiction novel, The Slave Dancer, by Paula Fox. In cooperative groups, they will use their knowledge of figurative language, conflict, theme, and characterization to identify a passage that has high emotional impact, while better understanding one of the most tragic human experiences: the journey along the Middle Passage during the slave trade. As culminating assessments, students will present their group's textual analysis to the class and write an extended response to the text.

Type: Lesson Plan

Discovering the Central Message through Paul Revere's Midnight Message:

Students will demonstrate their understanding of the central message of "Paul Revere's Ride," (ATOS 5.7) through the skill of taking marginal notes. The summative assessment will entail students selecting three quotes from the poem, illustrating them, and then providing a written explanation of each quote and its significance to the central message of the poem.

Type: Lesson Plan

Views on Freedom: Part 2 of 3:

In this second part of a three-part unit, students first read a nonfiction article by Nelson Mandela about freedom and fill out a rhetorical triangle and an outline to help them understand and process the key points and supporting details. Students will also read and analyze the folk tale "The People Could Fly" for its use of figurative language and literary elements using a chart similar to the poetry chart from Lesson #1. Text-dependent questions for both texts have also been included. In the closure activity students will compare and contrast these texts with a poem they read in the first lesson in the unit as to how each text approaches the topic of freedom.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorials

A Closer Look: Understanding Themes in Poetry:

Learn to identify and understand themes in poetry in this interactive tutorial.  This skill will bolster your ability to read and analyze poetry, and along the way you will read several classic poems and learn about diction and imagery.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Mission Possible: Finding the Theme:

Learn how to summarize a story based on its details, determine a story's theme, and understand the differences between the two in this detective-themed, interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Teaching Idea

The Lightning Thief Novel Study:

This is a complete unit covering The Lightning Thief. It includes a chapter by chapter study with a strong emphasis on vocabulary and detail.

Type: Teaching Idea

Unit/Lesson Sequences

Using "The Bully" by Paul Langan to Teach Tolerance:

This unit plan uses the book "The Bully" by Paul Langan, which is from the Bluford series, to teach tolerance. There are a plethora of resources and activities including graphic organizers, reflective journals, and reader's theater. Students work together to gain an understanding of the effects of bullying and an awareness of this important issue.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

A Study of "America Street: A Multicultural Anthology of Stories":

This is a sixth grade unit using the collection of short stories in "America Street: A Multicultural Anthology of Stories" by Anne Mazer. Students will examine point of view, multiple perspectives, character development, and setting in these varied texts. This unit includes a complete packet with graphic organizers, a pacing guide, and an assessment with answer key and possible student responses.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Investigating a Mystery in "Chasing Vermeer":

This sixth grade unit is based on the mystery novel Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett. Students will analyze clues and motives, study plot, and make predictions while learning about the artist Johannes Vermeer. It includes a complete packet with creative activities, graphic organizers, a pacing guide, and an assessment with answer key and possible student responses.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

A Study of Science and Fantasy Fiction in A Wrinkle in Time:

This is a sixth grade unit on the sci-fi novel A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L'Engle. Students will examine the characteristics of scientific and futuristic fiction including vocabulary, setting, and plot development. This unit includes a complete packet with graphic organizers, a pacing guide, and an assessment with answer key and possible student responses.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Exploring Verse Novels with "Keeping the Night Watch" and "Chess Rumble" :

This is a sixth grade unit on the verse novels Keeping the Night Watch by Hope Anita Smith and Chess Rumble by G. Neri. This unit explores narrative and lyric poetry, figurative language, author's purpose, voice, and symbolism. It includes games, graphic organizers, and a complete student packet, and includes a pacing guide and assessment with sample student answers.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Figurative Language and Author's Purpose in "Home of the Brave" by Katherine Applegate:

This is a sixth grade unit on the verse novel Home of the Brave by Katherine Applegate. This unit explores narrative and lyric poetry, figurative language, author's purpose, voice, and symbolism. It is rich with games, graphic organizers, and a complete student packet and includes a pacing guide and assessment with sample student answers.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Drawing Conclusions and Solving Mysteries in “Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy”:

This is a sixth grade unit on the mystery novel Sammy Keyes and the Hollywood Mummy by Wendelin Van Draanen. Students will analyze characters, study the plot, make predictions, and draw conclusions to solve a mystery in this forensic-themed unit. This unit includes a complete packet with graphic organizers, a pacing guide, and an assessment with answer key and possible student responses.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Analyzing Characters and Making Predictions in "Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief":

This is a sixth grade unit on the mystery novel Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief by Wendelin Van Draanen. Students will analyze characters, study the plot, and make predictions in this forensic-themed unit. This unit includes a complete packet with graphic organizers, a pacing guide, and an assessment with answer key and possible student responses.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

"The House on Mango Street": A Short Story Unit Examining Point of View, Perspective, and Plot:

This is a sixth grade unit using the short stories in The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros to identify point of view, interpret a character's perspective, and utilize plot elements to retell a story. This unit includes several graphic organizers, an assessment, and an answer key with sample responses.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Analyzing the Mystery Novel "The Westing Game" by Ellen Raskin:

This is a sixth grade unit on the mystery novel "The Westing Game" by Ellen Raskin. Students will analyze the character's motives, identify clues to solve the mystery, make predictions about the conclusion, and identify 'red herrings'. This unit on detective fiction includes a complete packet with graphic organizers, a pacing guide, and an assessment with answer key.

Type: Unit/Lesson Sequence

Original Student Tutorials for Language Arts - Grades 6-12

A Closer Look: Understanding Themes in Poetry:

Learn to identify and understand themes in poetry in this interactive tutorial.  This skill will bolster your ability to read and analyze poetry, and along the way you will read several classic poems and learn about diction and imagery.

Mission Possible: Finding the Theme:

Learn how to summarize a story based on its details, determine a story's theme, and understand the differences between the two in this detective-themed, interactive tutorial.

Student Resources

Vetted resources students can use to learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.

Original Student Tutorials

A Closer Look: Understanding Themes in Poetry:

Learn to identify and understand themes in poetry in this interactive tutorial.  This skill will bolster your ability to read and analyze poetry, and along the way you will read several classic poems and learn about diction and imagery.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Mission Possible: Finding the Theme:

Learn how to summarize a story based on its details, determine a story's theme, and understand the differences between the two in this detective-themed, interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Parent Resources

Vetted resources caregivers can use to help students learn the concepts and skills in this benchmark.