Having trouble getting your middle schoolers to see how an author crafts his or her theme?
I created this worksheet to use at the end of a short story or at the end of each chapter of a book (I am using it on The Outsiders currently, and will use it all year with every novel so my students are familiar with it).
This is meant to replace the drudgery of the typical "write a summary" assignment that usually comes at the end of chapters. It forces students to focus their attention on key techniques an author uses to communicate theme, but in a way that grabs student interest. For example, "What do you think Ponyboy is trying to say to YOU?" is in the last box. It is basically "What is the theme?" but in a way that is approachable to students. It is also the last box, so the other questions will build to that one.