Determine Theme - Reading Passages, Activities, Graphic Organizers, Practice

Rated 4.83 out of 5, based on 146 reviews
146 Ratings
Grade Levels
4th - 5th, Homeschool
Formats Included
  • PDF
75 pages
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What educators are saying

Theme is a difficult concept for many students. This resource was extremely helpful in my small groups. It was very thorough and offered many teaching/learning opportunities.
My students loved using this resource. It really helped them understand how to determine theme in a text.
Also included in
  1. This resource includes 4 low prep determining theme resources to make teaching theme easier on you and more understandable for your students. There are worksheets, reading passages, games, centers, cut and paste activities, lists of common themes, scavenger hunts, sorts, and more for finding the th
    Price $10.50Original Price $15.00Save $4.50
  2. Use this reading comprehension bundle with its scaffolded activities to help your students build a solid understanding of main idea and details, summarizing, and finding the theme. The resources break down these difficult skills into step by step chunks to give students a strong foundation. Best o
    Price $16.00Original Price $25.50Save $9.50


This no prep resource is scaffolded to help your students develop a thorough understanding of how to determine themes in literature. It helps you teach theme in a variety of different ways and addresses aspects of theme that students find most confusing. Reading passages - both shorter and longer - are included. The variety of activities make it easy for you to differentiate.

These activities are self-explanatory and could be completed by students independently in a distance learning packet.

After completing all of the theme activities in this resource, students should understand:

  • themes aren't always directly stated in the passages
  • different stories can have the same theme
  • you don't have to agree with the theme of a reading passage
  • details in a story and the actions of characters support the theme
  • the difference between theme and main idea (theme vs main idea)
  • a reading passage can have more than one theme
  • themes are meant to apply to real life

There are activities to help students better understand each of these aspects of themes. The activities include cut and paste activities, reading passages with questions, scaffolded graphic organizers, and more.

Use these resources as theme lessons for your 4th grade or 5th grade students. You can use the resources to model how to determine theme, for differentiation, for theme practice or homework, in small groups, whole class, as review before state testing, or as independent activities.

Most of the reading passages in this resource are fiction (finding theme in stories/literature). However, a few nonfiction passages are included to give students a chance to practice finding theme in nonfiction.

Although a few activities have students practice theme using one word themes, the majority of the activities address themes using full sentences. The preview shows everything that is included in this resource. Look through it carefully to make sure it addresses your students' needs.

A grading rubric and answer keys are included.

You might also like:

Main Idea: Scaffolded to Build Understanding

Summarizing Fiction and Nonfiction Texts

Kalena Baker, Teaching Made Practical

Total Pages
75 pages
Answer Key
Included with rubric
Teaching Duration
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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.


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