LAFS.7.RL.1.2

Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.
General Information
Subject Area: English Language Arts
Grade: 7
Strand: Reading Standards for Literature
Idea: Level 3: Strategic Thinking & Complex Reasoning
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 , EBSR , GR , SHT , DDHT item(s)

  • Assessment Limits :
    Items may ask the student to determine a theme or central idea from a section of the passage or from the entire passage and how it is developed over the course of the text. Items may refer to themes and central ideas that are explicit or implicit in the text. Items may ask the student to summarize all or part of the text.
  • Text Types :
    Items assessing this standard may be used with one or more grade-appropriate literary texts. Texts may vary in complexity
  • Response Mechanisms :
    The Technology-Enhanced Item Descriptions section on pages 3 and 4 provides a list of Response Mechanisms that may be used to assess this standard (excluding the Editing Task Choice and Editing Task item types). 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 and analyze its development over the course of the text.

    Sample Response Mechanisms

    Selectable Hot Text

    • Requires the student to determine a theme or central idea and then select how that theme or central idea was developed. 

    Drag-and-Drop Hot Text

    • Requires the student to drag words or phrases into a graphic organizer to demonstrate the development of a theme or central idea throughout a text. 

    EBSR

    • Requires the student to select the theme or central idea and then select words or phrases from the text that contribute to its development. 

    GRID

    • Requires the student to move words or phrases into a graphic organizer to show the development of a theme.

    Table Match

    • Requires the student to complete a table with words or phrases that show the development of a theme or central idea throughout the text.

    Task Demand

    Provide an objective summary of the text.

    Sample Response Mechanisms

    Multiple Choice

    • Requires the student to select the best summary of the text.

    Multiselect

    • Requires the student to select multiple sentences that could be used to create an accurate summary of the text.

    Drag-and-Drop Hot Text

    • Requires the student to place pieces of a summary in the correct order.

    GRID

    • Requires the student to move pieces of a summary into a graphic organizer. 

    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)
1001040: M/J Language Arts 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
1001050: M/J Language Arts 2 Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
1002010: M/J Language Arts 2 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))
1006010: M/J Journalism 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
1007010: M/J Speech and Debate 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2019, 2019 - 2021 (current), 2021 and beyond)
1008040: M/J Reading 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2021 (course terminated))
1008050: M/J Reading 2, Advanced (Specifically in versions: 2013 - 2015, 2015 - 2021 (course terminated))
1009040: M/J Writing 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 and beyond (current))
1700010: M/J Research 2 (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 2015, 2015 - 2022 (current), 2022 and beyond)
7810012: Access M/J Language Arts 2  (Specifically in versions: 2014 - 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))

Related Access Points

Alternate version of this benchmark for students with significant cognitive disabilities.
LAFS.7.RL.1.AP.2a: Determine the theme or central idea of a text.
LAFS.7.RL.1.AP.2b: Analyze the development of the theme or central idea over the course of the text and provide a summary.

Related Resources

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

Formative Assessments

Reading Detectives: Searching Out the Central Theme:

The student will read a passage, “An Unexpected Legacy.” Using a graphic organizer, the student will determine the central theme of the passage and analyze its development over the course of the text by examining the title, events in the story, and actions of the characters. The student will act as a “detective” searching out the clues in the story that lead to the central theme.

Type: Formative Assessment

Summarizing: It All Adds Up!:

The student will read a literary passage titled “Home Sweet Homestead.” The student will complete a graphic organizer, identifying key details to analyze the central idea’s development throughout the text. The student will determine the central idea of the passage. The student will also provide an objective summary of the passage.

Type: Formative Assessment

The Theme Team:

The student will determine the theme of the story “A Blueberry Muffin” by using a graphic organizer to analyze the development of the theme over the course of the text. Finally, the student will write an objective summary of the story. The student will follow along as the teacher reads “A Blueberry Muffin” in sections (chunks). After reading each chunk, the student will discuss textual evidence with a partner. After discussing, the student will individually answer guiding questions about each chunk of the text on a graphic organizer.

Type: Formative Assessment

Theme in a Box:

The student will determine a theme of a text, provide textual evidence of the development of the theme throughout the text, and provide an objective summary of the text.

Type: Formative Assessment

Lesson Plans

Radioactive Dating Lesson 1:

Read about a recent uncovering of mammoths to engage students in a discussion of radioactive dating. This is the first lesson in a unit of 4 lessons that integrates science, math, and computer science standards to teach the concept of half-lives and radioactive dating.

Type: Lesson Plan

Analyzing Story Elements in the Classic Love Story "Pyramus and Thisbe":

"Pyramus and Thisbe" is a tragic love story in which two lovers are separated by forces seemingly beyond their control. This lesson guides students through an analysis of the story elements and how they function together to create a theme. A plot diagram helps students to analyze this classic story after the teacher models analysis on a much simpler, more familiar childrens' story, "Cinderella." Students will write a mini-essay analyzing how the plot elements and symbols support the story's theme.  There is a grading rubric and sample essay provided.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading Exemplar: As You Like It:

The goal of this two day exemplar is to give students the opportunity to use the reading and writing habits they've been practicing on a regular basis to unpack the meaning of Jacques' soliloquy from William Shakespeare's As You Like It. By reading and rereading the passage closely and focusing their reading through a series of questions and discussion about the text, students will be able to understand the structure and purpose of this particular soliloquy and how it delves into universal themes regarding the human condition. When combined with writing about the soliloquy, students will discover how much they can learn from even a very short selection of a text.

Type: Lesson Plan

User Beware: Foreshadowing and Morals in "The Monkey's Paw":

In this lesson, students will read "The Monkey's Paw" by W.W. Jacobs. They will answer text-dependent questions that include having students analyze the text for foreshadowing clues, as well as use of situational irony. Students will use context clues and dictionaries to determine the meanings of selected vocabulary words from the story. Students will also work to determine morals in the story and will write two extended response paragraphs articulating the moral and how each is developed and supported by textual details. A PowerPoint on theme versus morals, foreshadowing, and situational irony is provided to help students with these concepts. Text-dependent questions, an answer key, a vocabulary handout, a teacher's guide for the story, and a rubric for the summative assessment are provided.

Type: Lesson Plan

"A Retrieved Reformation" by O. Henry - Inference and Evidence:

Students will read O. Henry's "A Retrieved Reformation" and be able to analyze elements of the story, such as foreshadowing and inference, by identifying supporting details in a text. Students will be able to analyze the theme of the text and, in response, write an objective summary with textual evidence.

Type: Lesson Plan

"Uncoiling" the Theme:

In this lesson, students will read the poem "Uncoiling" by Pat Mora, determine the poem's theme (central message) by identifying various literary devices through a close reading of the text, and then compose a written analysis of the poem, as they understand it.

Type: Lesson Plan

Edgar Allan Poe: A Life in Poetry:

In this lesson, students will be introduced to the life of Edgar Allan Poe and some of his poetic works through a series of interactive activities while working together within a cooperative learning environment. Students will analyze and discuss various nuances of Poe's life and poems and write an explanatory essay about what they learned.

Type: Lesson Plan

Literature Circles, Research, and Technology:

In this lesson, students will choose from high-interest award winning novels to conduct their own literature circle novel study. They will prepare a comprehensive summary of their literature circle learning. Then, students will conduct research about the author and prepare a PowerPoint Presentation to share their learning with the class. Finally, students will create author interview questions and answers which will be used as part of their script for their culminating podcast presentation.

Type: Lesson Plan

Literary Analysis of "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi" and Narrative Writing Activity:

In this lesson, students will be able to analyze how Rudyard Kipling uses theme and short story elements to create the classic story, "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi." Students will engage in various pre-reading activities to scaffold background knowledge, vocabulary, and ability to identify theme. Working in cooperative groups will allow students to discuss and evaluate their learning in a non-threatening environment. At the conclusion of the lesson, students will write an original narrative using what they learned in this lesson to create their own story.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading Exemplar: "Unbroken" and "Farewell to Manzanar":

As students will have previous exposure to the historical themes and factual information about the attacks on Pearl Harbor, the United States involvement in WWII, and the internment of Japanese in camps throughout the western United States, this lesson exemplar will allow students to participate in critical discussion of two stories that illuminate important, yet divergent, experiences of war and conflict. This lesson exemplar will push students to think critically about the experience of wartime as felt by both soldiers and civilians as they navigated specific trials that were a part of their direct or peripheral involvement in WWII.

Type: Lesson Plan

Close Reading Exemplar: Tom Sawyer:

The goal of this one day exemplar is to give students the opportunity to use the reading and writing habits they've been practicing on a regular basis to discover the rich humor and moral lesson embedded in Twain's text. By reading and rereading the passage closely, and focusing their reading through a series of questions and discussion about the text, students will explore the problem Tom Sawyer faced and how he "solved" his conundrum. When combined with writing about the passage, students will learn to appreciate how Twain's humor contains a deeper message and derive satisfaction from the struggle to master complex text. At the end of the lesson, students are provided two writing prompts to constructive a narrative inspired by Twain's text.

Type: Lesson Plan

Government Knows Best!:

Government take over is upon the United States--well, it is in the short story "Harrison Bergeron" by Kurt Vonnegut, Jr! In this lesson, students in your classroom will question if we are all treated equally and if we really want equality "every which way." This close reading lesson allows students to explore cause and effect relationships in this engaging, dystopian short story. Students are also challenged to compare the messages in "Harrison Bergeron" with the poem "Government of Evil." Graphic organizers, text-dependent questions, answer keys, and a writing rubric for the summative assessment are included with the lesson.

Type: Lesson Plan

Original Student Tutorials

Spread Your Wings: Structure & Meaning in Poetry:

Explore the structure and meaning of poetry and learn how poems are organized to express and develop themes. Along the way, you will also learn some key terms like diction, imagery, and mood. This interactive tutorial uses two famous poems as examples, one by William Blake and one by Emily Dickinson. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Finding Buried Treasure: Uncovering the Theme:

Read several short stories about pirates and treasure and learn how to summarize a story, identify its theme, and tell the difference between the two with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Teaching Ideas

Active Reading through Self Assessment:

This activity aids students' reading comprehension and is an investigation of meaning in any short story through peer collaboration. Students work independently to choose quotations that exemplify significant events of the text, come to a consensus about the quotations' significance in collaborative groups, and then formulate analytical quiz questions for peers to answer. A final reflection writing ties all parts of the activity together at the end.

Type: Teaching Idea

Doodle Splash Using Graphics to Discuss Literature:

Students read a short story of high interest and doodle in either a journal or using an online tool, responding in images, symbols, shapes, and colors. Students have to include the plot, characters, point of view, and theme. Then students work in small groups to construct graphics for the story. Each group then presents to the class. The presentations can be displayed on a class bulletin board or scanned into a Web page.

Type: Teaching Idea

Original Student Tutorials for Language Arts - Grades 6-12

Finding Buried Treasure: Uncovering the Theme:

Read several short stories about pirates and treasure and learn how to summarize a story, identify its theme, and tell the difference between the two with this interactive tutorial.

Spread Your Wings: Structure & Meaning in Poetry:

Explore the structure and meaning of poetry and learn how poems are organized to express and develop themes. Along the way, you will also learn some key terms like diction, imagery, and mood. This interactive tutorial uses two famous poems as examples, one by William Blake and one by Emily Dickinson. 

Student Resources

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

Original Student Tutorials

Spread Your Wings: Structure & Meaning in Poetry:

Explore the structure and meaning of poetry and learn how poems are organized to express and develop themes. Along the way, you will also learn some key terms like diction, imagery, and mood. This interactive tutorial uses two famous poems as examples, one by William Blake and one by Emily Dickinson. 

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Finding Buried Treasure: Uncovering the Theme:

Read several short stories about pirates and treasure and learn how to summarize a story, identify its theme, and tell the difference between the two with this interactive tutorial.

Type: Original Student Tutorial

Parent Resources

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