Teaching Theme with Short Stories Finding Theme Worksheets Identifying Theme

Rated 4.85 out of 5, based on 78 reviews
78 Ratings
Kim Miller
Grade Levels
3rd - 5th, Homeschool
Formats Included
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Kim Miller
Easel Activity Included
This resource includes a ready-to-use interactive activity students can complete on any device.  Easel by TPT is free to use! Learn more.

What educators are saying

Another awesome resource from Kim. Ive used the theme with fables for a few years. Im excited to add these stories and the poems too.
These are great. I love the variety in the questions and types of questions. Texts have cute graphics.
Also included in
  1. Help your students easily find the theme of a story or poem with this bundle of teaching theme resources! This download comes with a variety of activities that will help your students learn how to identify the themes and topics of fables, short stories, and poems. By using these theme posters, readi
    Price $19.96Original Price $24.95Save $4.99


Do your students struggle to identify the theme of a story? Teaching common themes and topics in literature can be a hard skill to grasp. Focusing on the setting, characters, and plot helps students find the overarching message. In this resource, students will be required to analyze short stories by answering questions relating to each story's theme, topic, setting, character's actions, and plot. In the end, they will be directed to summarize the text. These theme activities were created to be used as practice activities or assessments for finding the theme of a short story.

Themes found in literature are not always black and white. Some answers will vary throughout these activities. I’ve included detailed answer keys to make it easier for you to discuss the questions with your students.

Included in this download:

  • Common Themes in Literature (Reference Chart)
  • Common Topics in Literature (Reference Chart)
  • Theme Practice #1: The Scheming Squirrel
  • Theme Practice #2: Sharing Dilemmas
  • Theme Practice #3: Doggie Dollars
  • TpT Easel Activity Digital Option
  • Answer Keys

Each engaging short story includes:

  • a student guide for finding the theme and topic
  • 16 multiple-choice and open-ended questions assessing reading comprehension, theme, and the actions of the characters
  • a student guide for summarizing the story

These activities are perfect for:

  • whole group lessons
  • independent desk work
  • small groups
  • literacy centers
  • morning work
  • homework
  • assessments
  • early finishers
  • sub plans, and so much more!

The best part?

Your students will quickly learn how to describe in-depth the characters, settings, and events in each short story as they draw on specific details in the text. They will get right to work identifying key details from the stories to determine the central ideas or themes found in the text.

Help your students learn how to determine the theme of a story and summarize the text using high-interest and engaging reading activities!

In this one convenient resourceyou can…

  • have ready-to-go activities that will help your students master finding the theme of a story.
  • use these pre-made theme activities as sub plans when you need to take a day (or week) off!
  • print and go - includes everything you need to teach THEME anytime during the year!

Note: Detailed answer keys have been added to make it easier for you to discuss the questions with your students. To complete these activities, your students should have a basic understanding of themes and topics found in literature.

⭐⭐If you’re just now starting to teach themes to your students, you might want to begin with Teaching Theme with Aesop’s Fables. Using fables seems to help students identify themes a little easier! This resource is an excellent introduction to themes and topics.

Supports Common Core Standards (CCSS)

RL.3.2, RL.3.3, W.3.3

RL.4.2, RL.4.3, W.4.3

RL.5.2, RL.5.3, W.5.3

You may also like…

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⭐ Please note: If you are having difficulty with this file, please visit the FAQs section, submit a help ticket, or ask me a question on the Q&A tab before leaving feedback.

Copyright © Kim Miller (A Love of Teaching)

Permission to copy for single classroom use only.

Please purchase additional licenses if you intend to share this product.

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to see state-specific standards (only available in the US).
Recount stories, including fables, folktales, and myths from diverse cultures; determine the central message, lesson, or moral and explain how it is conveyed through key details in the text.
Describe characters in a story (e.g., their traits, motivations, or feelings) and explain how their actions contribute to the sequence of events.
Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
Describe in depth a character, setting, or event in a story or drama, drawing on specific details in the text (e.g., a character’s thoughts, words, or actions).
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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