Finding the Theme of a Story: A Bundle of Activities and Lessons

Rated 4.88 out of 5, based on 2733 reviews
2.7k Ratings
Deb Hanson
Grade Levels
4th - 6th, Homeschool
Formats Included
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  • Google Apps™
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Deb Hanson
Includes Google Apps™
This bundle contains one or more resources with Google apps (e.g. docs, slides, etc.).
Easel Activities Included
Some resources in this bundle include ready-to-use interactive activities that students can complete on any device.  Easel by TPT is free to use! Learn more.
Easel Assessment Included
Some resources in this bundle include self-grading quizzes that students can complete on any device. Easel by TPT is free to use! Learn more.

What educators are saying

This resource is great it helped my students fully understand what theme is with all the activities that were provided
My students had fun reading the stories and them making the craft project that went along with the reading tasks.

Products in this Bundle (7)

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    This nonfiction text structure bundle has everything you need to keep your upper elementary and middle school students engaged as they learn how to determine the themes found in literary works. Some of the activities include test prep elements because theme questions tend to appear frequently on standardized tests. It is designed to teach students how to analyze a reading passage and identify its theme in a way that will keep them engaged. Students love the activities while teachers love the convenience of these no-prep resources that can be used year after year! These theme activities can be used for test prep, review, or introduction of the skill. It includes a PowerPoint, worksheets, task cards, posters, a craftivity, partner plays, and more!

    What's included... To gain a better idea of everything included, please check out the individual PREVIEWS for each resource:

    Teaching Theme: An Introduction PowerPoint

    • Ideal for introducing this topic to students!
    • Please note that you will need a copy of the book Because of Winn Dixie by Kate DiCamillo to refer to as you advance through the last half of this PowerPoint.
    • You have my permission to convert this to Google Slides, if you wish.
    • It comes with a matching companion handout (The companion handout includes both a printable version and a Google Slides version.)

    4 Worksheets and Optional Craftivity

    • First, students complete 4 worksheets. (1 reading passage per worksheet.)
    • Then,if you want, have students use their answers to "bake" theme-filled cupcakes!
    • You get to choose whether to use the printable craftivity version, the Easel Activity version, or the Google version.

    Finding the Theme Task Cards

    • 16 passages
    • Two options for differentiation: short-answer or multiple-choice
    • You get to choose whether to use the printable version, the Google Forms version, the Google Slides version, the Easel Activity version, or the Easel Assessment version.

    Six Worksheets

    • Students read each passage and identify its theme.
    • Four with a multiple-choice format; two with a short-answer format
    • Use some as an assessment, if you wish.
    • You get to choose whether to use the printable version, the Google version, or the Easel Activity version.

    5 Partner Plays Scripts

    • Scripts are related to sports!
    • Focus on fluency while practicing the skill of identifying the theme
    • After reading each script, students identify the theme of the short story.
    • You get to choose whether to use the Google version or the printable version.

    2 Posters

    5-7 days of LESSON PLANS

    • These plans outline how and when I use each of the included resources! You don't have to follow the lesson plan format I provide, of course, but it might be helpful in providing a bit of direction for you.

    Here's what teachers like you have to say about this bundle:

    • Julie M. said, "This is an amazing resource to use teaching theme. The analogy of theme as a creme-filled cupcake is brilliant! The ppt is very colorful and engaging. I love that the ppt companion goes directly with the ppt so the students can interact with the learning. There are so many other components in this bundle that help practice the skill of finding the theme. My students really enjoy this unit!"

    • Heather M. said, "This bundle was SUPER helpful in teaching theme--my students understood it better this year than any other year I've taught theme (and that includes my eighth graders)."

    • Heather P. said, "Helping students understand and determine the theme of a story can be difficult. Deb Hanson always does an amazing job not only teaching the students but making it engaging. I like how she has practice at the end of the slides. Also, the craftivity and worksheets are a great plus."

    • Marissa L. said, "Seriously hit the jackpot with this resource! There are so many different activities for the students that are engaging and easy to assess."

    • Megan C. said, "My students loved this activity. I feel like they truly know how to determine the theme based on the activities within this bundle. Highly recommend it!"

    Are you looking for a plot elements intervention resource, or plot activities designed to be used with a small group of students? You might want to check out my set of Literary Themes Tri-folds/Lessons!

    CLICK HERE for the print version.

    CLICK Here for the digital version.

    **Please note: the PowerPoint cannot be edited due to the copyright requirements made by the contributing artists (clip art, font, backgrounds).

    Copyright by Deb Hanson

    This item is a paid digital download from my TpT store

    The resources in this bundle are to be used by the original downloader only. Copying for more than one teacher is prohibited. This item is also bound by copyright laws. Redistributing, editing, selling, or posting these items (or any part thereof) on an Internet site that is not password protected are all strictly prohibited without first gaining permission from the author. Violations are subject to the penalties of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Please contact me if you wish to be granted special permissions!

    Total Pages
    Answer Key
    Teaching Duration
    1 Week
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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.
    Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.


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