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Identifying Themes in Literature- Elementary

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Nicholas Hoffmann

on 20 April 2017

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Transcript of Identifying Themes in Literature- Elementary

Subject vs. Theme
Stories can have MORE THAN ONE theme!
More themes for "
The Indian in the Cupboard
BE CAREFUL!!! Don't get too specific with your themes.
"Dwarfs are helpful" is too specific to the "Snow White" story.
Subjects are usually just one or two words
(what is the story about?)
Finding meaning
in literature

Theme is not the
Topics/subjects are what the author has chosen to write

Try this!
What is the
of "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs?
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is about:
dealing with differences
good vs. evil
Theme is not a summary of the plot, either.
(Plot is the series of events within a story.)
running away
Using the subject "jealousy" for "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs", what is the theme?
How do they eventually end up?
How are the jealous characters portrayed?
Before you decide on the theme, take a look at "jealousy" within the story.
What do they do?
Given what we know about the Evil Queen, who was jealous in the story, what is the author trying to tell us about jealousy?
Jealousy is a powerful emotion that can destroy lives.
This is one of the themes of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.
A theme is the central idea or message of a story

-Usually needs to be infered
Theme tends to focus on discoveries about the BIG topics/subjects in everyone's life.
fitting in
Themes aren't specific to the work of literature you're reading, but are relevant to all of us.
Some themes for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs could be:
It is important to accept different cultures and ideas
Being responsible for others is a difficult job
Everyone is their own person and no one belongs to anyone else
Love conquers all
Good triumphs over evil
Good people are rewarded while bad people are punished
"Being evil will turn you into a witch and you'll fall off a cliff" is too specific to "Snow White".
"Indians and Cowboys should stop fighting and be friends" is too specific for
The Indian in the Cupboard
Themes are full sentences or sayings

(what is the lesson the author is trying to communicate to the reader
the subject?)
Good triumphs over evil.
The End
What is the story

Modified by Mr. Joseph Griffin
ELA Teacher: Grade 7
Cape Fear Middle School
Rocky Point, NC

Original Prezi by
Mr. Laffin
Language Arts 7
Chaparral Middle School
Diamond Bar, CA

All photo rights belong to their respective owners.
these are the topics/subjects!
They should not include specific events, characters, or settings from the text.
Review - Steps for Finding Theme(s) in a Text:
Step 1
Identify some subjects that the text talks about. Ask yourself: "If I boil this story down to just one or two words, what is is about?"

Ex: bullying, peer pressure, success
Step 2
Ask yourself: "What happens in the plot to the characters in the text that relates to those subjects?"

Ex: Jane is bullied by other girls in her class because of the music she likes. She is tempted to quit her band, even though she has worked really hard to get where she is.
Step 3
Look for the story's resolution. How is the conflict in the story resolved, or what happens at the end in relation to the subjects?

Ex: Jane decides not to quit her band. Jane's band wins the talent show at her school, and suddenly all the other kids in her class want to know more about her music.
Step 4
Now, look for lessons that the character learns or that are implied in the text related to the subject(s) you've been looking at. Try to form these findings into a complete sentence statement that expresses your opinion, as supported by the text. This sentence should express an opinion.

Ex 1: "Be true to yourself."
Ex 2: "Hard work will eventually pay off."
You should always have text evidence (direct or implied) to support your theme(s). This is how you find it.
Topics of The
Indian in the Cupboard
are Magic, Cowboys and Indians, etc.
Cowboys and Indians
Even enemies can become friends
With great power comes great responsibility
It can be difficult to make the right decisions
Full transcript