Reading for and writing about Theme can be called the apex of exploring literature. Here is a visual that puts it there. You can use it to talk about how literary elements form the basis for analyzing literature, and how literary devices build on this foundation. For example, mood can be created from more basic elements, such as the setting, plot events, characterization, and imagery. (Class activity suggestion: You can print out or project this visual onto a white board and have your students attach sticky notes onto related literary elements and devices.) A fully expressed theme -- more than a single-word topic -- takes shape in our minds after we closely consider how these elements and devices work together across a story. A black and white version is included for handouts, and a graphic organizer is provided for brainstorming for connections between literary elements, devices, and theme.