Theme Teacher Resources

Find Theme educational ideas and activities

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After reviewing the story of Noah's Ark (suggested text: Lucy Cousins' retelling), you read to the class the beginning of Noah and the Space Ark by Laura Cecil. Partners predict how the story might progress and end. Then compare predictions with the text after a compete reading. A week-long series of activities, but with older students, you could complete this in a single day.
All stories contain themes. Examine the theme of an assigned story (the lesson suggests To Kill a Mockingbird). Your class can either read a story or watch a DVD to analyze the main theme of the story. They identify terms such as theme, conflict, dialogue, characterization, repetition, and symbol. 
Build understanding of theme with an activity designed for The Cay and the Common Core. Small groups or pairs use graphic organizers to determine themes, find and record related details from the text, and formulate theme statements. In addition to this work with theme, the resource includes a writing assignment paired with a second graphic ogranzier. Find out if your kids think that The Cay should be read by sixth graders and why.
Read the story Mufaro's Beautiful Daughter by John Steptoe to your class, then have them identify story events that support a given theme. They read Boundless Grace by Mary Hoffman and complete a worksheet in which they list examples of text that support that story's theme. This lesson focuses on vocabulary, building background knowledge, and analyzing theme.
What is theme? How do you figure out the theme of a story? How is the theme developed? How is the theme expressed? These and other questions are answered by a presentation that not only defines the term but also provides easy to understand examples. The presentation ends with a practice exercise.
In this fables learning exercise, students read fables and write the moral of the story and how their answer relates to the story. Students do this for 5 stories.
In this theme activity, students read a set of short fables, determine theme and write their explanations below each.
Read aloud to your class the fable "The Lion and the Mouse" as you explore characters' choices and the effects they have on a story. Apply what is discussed to finding a theme of the chapter "Not Giving Up" from The Wizard of Oz
“What is the theme of this story?” Now there’s a question all pupils dread. Rather than encountering a sea of faces that look like they were painted by Edward Munch, face a classroom filled with smiles and confidence. Show your readers how to determine the theme of a work. After modeling and discussing the differences between motifs and themes, groups engage in a series of activities that ask them to identify the motifs and the authors’ messages about these motifs in works they have read. Rich in detail, the packet deserves a place in your curriculum library.
Middle schoolers recognize Theme through the use of simple, short stories. Using Pro Quest, students begin by researching the literary element, theme, and how it can be identified. They then identify the themes in Aesop's Fables and other short stories that have obvious themes.  Studnets are also given a list of themes commonly found in middle school texts.
Ninth graders discuss a common fairy tale focusing on the realistic and unrealistic elements. They listen to Gabriel Garcia Marquez's. "A Very Old Man With Enormous Wings." and write responses to the story.
Your class reaches the end of the novel Eagle Song as young readers focus on determining the theme of this story. Similar to previous lessons in the unit, the teacher begins with a read aloud of the first few pages of chapter 8, before asking students to finish the chapter independently. The class is then reintroduced to the "Somebody In Wanted But So" reading comprehension strategy learned earlier in the unit, using it as a guide for identifying different themes in the novel. Significant teacher support is required during this discussion, as pupils are encouraged to move beyond summarizing the text toward understanding the different lessons it teaches. Children finally work in groups to support each theme with details from the book. A well-rounded lesson that nicely concludes your class's reading of Eagle Song.
Middle schoolers work with themes in this activity, which is based on Fox by Margaret Wild. Because the book has multiple themes, it is a great way to transition into exploring literary analysis and writing stories. A Six Trait writing activity takes them through the writing process, and an attached link allows them to post their work online (if desired).
Determining a theme or central idea is greatly emphasized in the Common Core standards. Target that skill though big metaphors and central symbols in Pam Muñoz Ryan's Esperanza Rising. Help your class reach the standard through discussion, close reading, text-based questions, a kinesthetic opinion survey, and a brief writing assignment. Every step is detailed, and every material is provided in this intelligently sequenced plan, which is part of a series.
Now that your class has read all of Esperanza Rising, take the time to tackle big metaphors and themes. Pupils will participate in an activity called Chalk Talk, in which they circulate around the room in small groups and add comments to charts that are labeled with five metaphors in the novel. Conduct a whole-class discussion on this activity, leaving some time to perform the two-voice poems that were written previously. Part of a well-sequenced series, the lesson will help wrap up the novel and big ideas.
Building off the homework assignment from the previous lesson in this series, class members explore themes in Ursula K. Le Guin's novel A Wizard of Earthsea through discussion and a writing activity. Pupils share their homework and discuss the listed subjects before writing a quick overview of how they would teach the novel. For this writing task, individuals must choose a focus topic and identify passages to support their claims.
Focus on plot and the impact-specific events in The Cay. Class members use their double-entry journals, created in a previous lesson in this series, to record their thinking about the guiding question as they read chapters 15 through 17. After they consider the plot of the story, send learners off to write an obituary for Timothy. A graphic organizer for collecting evidence is provided, as are ideas for differentiation.
Introduce your class to Edgar Allan Poe with a series of mostly self-guided tasks and assignments. Class members follow the list of tasks, starting by watching a video with background information and ending with a compare-and-contrast essay. The short stories "The Tell Tale Heart" and "The Masque of the Red Death" are linked on the page. The listed tasks are for pupils only, so you will need to determine what happens during class and what happens as homework.
Eighth graders study Langston Hughes, "Thank You Ma'am" to discover the elements of plot, character motives and reactions. They express the effects of trust and kindness by writing a reflective personal narrative. They illustrate the themes.
Introduce your secondary readers to the elements and characteristics of short stories. As a class, they read a short story answering questions as the story continues. In groups, they complete post-reading activities and compare their own short stories. Though this resource is heavily scripted, it is missing a clear overall objective and clarity. Questions and short story terminology definitions are included.

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