Thursday, October 31, 2013

RL 6.2 - RI 6.2 Station Information (Math Conference)

Essential Skills/Concepts Related to RL 6.2

THE THEME OF a story is the most important thing the author wants readers to understand. It’s the author’s thoughts about a general belief of how things are or how they should be. In fables, the theme is the moral, or lesson, the story teaches. The moral may even be stated at the end of the story. Remember that Aesop story about the Fox and Crow in Lesson 23? If the theme had been stated, it would have been something like this: Don’t be distracted by flattery or vain people can be easily fooled!

Here are a few other familiar themes you’ll find in stories.

Don’t cry over spilled milk.
Believe in yourself.
Deeds speak louder than words.
Honesty is the best policy.
Justice for all.
Bad things sometimes happen to good people.
Don’t envy others; be happy with what you have.
Money can’t buy happiness.
Look before you leap.
To have a friend, you have to be a friend.
Don’t believe everything you hear.
Beauty is only skin-deep.

An author may not state the theme directly, but you can figure it out. Think about what the characters in the story are like and what they do, and ask yourself questions like:

• Did something that happened in the story change a character?
• How do the characters’ actions relate to things in my life?
• What message is the author trying to send me?
• Does the title of the story give a clue to the theme?

Essential Skills/Concepts Related to RI 6.2
Main Idea and Supporting Details

THE MAIN IDEA is what a selection’s mostly about—the most important thing the author wants readers to know. Other facts in the selection are details that support, or tell more about, the main idea. Sometimes the main idea is stated directly.

Grass is one of Earth’s most useful plants. Most people think of it as the stuff that grows in the yard and needs to be mowed, but there are thousands of different kinds. Wheat, rice, and other grains are grasses that help people and animals exist!

The main idea is stated: Grass is a useful plant. But sometimes you have to find the main idea yourself. To do that, use information from the text to figure it out.

In 1483, Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci sketched a flying machine. He was also a scientist and fascinated by movement. His sketch showed a screw-like wing made of stiff linen. He never got it off the ground, but a real helicopter like it flew almost 500 years later!

The main idea is that Leonardo da Vinci designed the first helicopter more than 500 years ago. That’s what the author most wants you to remember.

In the first example, supporting details are that wheat, rice, and other grains are useful grasses, and people and animals need grasses. In the second example, details are the year he drew the design, that it was a flying machine, what it looked like, and when the first real helicopter flew. Each detail supports or expands on the main idea.

In longer selections, each chapter or section may have its own main idea, but there’s just one central idea for the whole selection. Sometimes the title can help you figure out the main idea. And you may find that some details add interest but aren’t necessary to finding the main idea, like the fact that da Vinci was fascinated by movement, so they are not “supporting” details.

 Essential Skills/Concepts Related to RL 6.2/RI 6.2


A FACT IS a detail that can be proven true. An opinion is what someone thinks, it can’t be proven true or false.

The Harry Potter books were written by J.K. Rowling.
The third Harry Potter book was the best.

Corn is a vegetable.
Corn tastes better than carrots.
Painting is an art.
Da Vinci was the world’s greatest painter.
Spring is one of the four seasons.
Spring is the best season of the year.

You can prove each fact is true. Just look it up in a book or on the Internet. But other people may have different ideas about the Harry Potter books, carrots versus corn, the greatest painter, and the best season!

Authors use facts and opinions to persuade you to think or do something. The author states an idea, and then gives details to convince you to agree. Details may be facts, dates, statistics, or words that affect your feelings. Only you can decide if the evidence is strong enough to convince you. Commercials and print ads are familiar forms of persuasive writing.
How It’s Done
Makes you think everyone does it, so you should, too
GloryFoot boots are the hottest new fashion!  Don’t be left out, get yours today!
Expert Opinion
Quotes someone who’s an expert in the field
“I hike up a lot of hot volcanoes,” says Dr.  E. Ruption, “so “I’m glad to have Frosty-Foot slippers to slide into after work!”
Glittering Generalities
Appeal to emotions, like patriotism, success, family
Vote for A. Ballot…the candidate to ensure the safety of your family and our nation!
Name Calling
Uses rude or mocking language with negative connotations
Switch from greasy, heart-clogging Acme-Burgers to Pine-Burgers, the healthy fiber-filled food that’s better for your body!
Personal Experience
Explains how the author came to this belief
I have been in Africa and seen so many children who need our help.
Quotes a famous person who supports the idea
“We must all do what we can to help the penguins,” said super-athlete Ima Star, who donated $10,000.  How will you help?