Skip to Content

Teaching Theme

While working on teaching theme in reading, this collection will help you plan for engaging mini-lessons during your reading workshop.

Teaching theme in reading will be easier with this free download of materials from The Curriculum Corner.\

Working on theme requires students to dig deeper into the text in order to find the big idea.

This is another free resource for teachers and homeschool families from The Curriculum Corner.

While working on teaching theme in reading, this collection will help you plan for engaging mini-lessons during your reading workshop.

What is theme?

The theme of a story or book is different from the main idea.

The main idea focuses on what happened in a specific book.

The theme is bigger. It is the lesson or moral an author is teaching the reader.

While the main idea can often be found in the author’s words, the theme is different.

A reader often has to infer what the theme is.

When trying to determine what the theme is, a reader might ask themself these questions:

  • What does the author want me to learn?
  • What is the lesson?
  • What did the character learn?
  • How did the character change?
While working on teaching theme in reading, this collection will help you plan for engaging mini-lessons during your reading workshop.

Here are some common themes we find in children’s literature:

  • the value of friendship
  • teamwork
  • family relationships
  • loyalty
  • showing compassion for others
  • celebrating differences
  • showing courage
  • honesty
  • accepting yourself
  • perseverance
  • coping with feelings
  • sharing
  • working hard
  • showing self-control
  • survival
  • growing up
  • learning about holidays
  • dealing with loss or grief
  • fairness
  • equity
  • making a difference
  • hope fot he future
  • racism
  • overcoming challenges
  • using your voice
  • peace
  • celebrating differences
  • jealousy
  • human versus nature
  • cooperation
  • good vs. evil

This collection for teaching theme includes the following resources:

There are a range of slides that can be used on your SmartBoard to help guide your instruction and the thinking of the class.

These slides are designed for you to pick and choose. The intent is not that you will use all of the slides in one day.

On the first day you might use the “What is the theme?” slide as starting point and then the definition slide.

There are other slides that share key questions children will think about when identifying the theme.

There is also a slide that focuses on the differences between the main idea and theme.

Finally, there are five short passages. After reading each, students will identify the theme and the main idea.

It is important for students to remember that there could be more than one correct response when identifying the theme.

While I was visualizing using these as slides, it would also be possible to print them and place as cards at a center.

Finally,, you will find an assortment of graphic organizers.

These can be used for students to share their thoughts about the theme.

There are three pages that are designed to be cut apart and used as exit tickets.

One fun addition I made to this set is the focus on a hashtag. For these pages, students will identify a hashtag that could be used when talking about the book that includes the theme that they identify.

You can download this free reading resource here:

Reading Resource

As with all of our resources, The Curriculum Corner creates these for free classroom use. Our products may not be sold. You may print and copy for your personal classroom use. These are also great for home school families!

You may not modify and resell in any form. Please let us know if you have any questions.


Multiplying & Dividing Integers Worksheets
← Previous
Literacy Centers: Endangered Animals
Next →