I have created this resource to assist you in teaching your middle schoolers how to identify theme. Some middle schoolers have a very hard time going from literal meaning to abstract meaning, and they need explicit instruction in every step. This unit will also force your more advanced students, who have an easier time getting to the abstract, to clarify and defend their thinking in detail. Although this unit only requires the construction of a theme statement, the work done can prepare a student to write an essay on theme or to construct a thesis statement for theme.
I have purposefully chosen a very simple children’s book, The Story of Ferdinand, for this unit. This simple story will allow students to focus on the skills taught in this unit, rather than struggling to decode the book or learning a lot of new vocabulary.
This unit contains 39 pages of direct instruction, graphic organizers, and comprehension questions.