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Finding Theme

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by

karen fox

on 8 January 2013

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Transcript of Finding Theme

How can I find the theme of a text? What is theme? Theme is the underlying message of
a story or poem Theme is a big
idea, something,
that you can
learn about life
in general Finding themes Sometimes, an author will
come right out
and state the theme
of a story or poem I looked at all the candy I could buy. I had the
dollar, right here in my hand, but suddenly I didn’t feel
hungry. I wished that I hadn’t stolen the dollar. I wished
that I hadn’t taken the money from my brother’s bank.
“I don’t think I want to buy anything today,” I
muttered quickly to the clerk. Then I ran from the
store. I had learned something important-it’s better to be honest than to have money. We all knew that it was time to set the butterfly
free. We had seen it make its chrysalis and emerge.
Then it had flown around in the cage, trying to
stretch its wings. Although we felt a little sad, we
opened the lid to the cage one evening. The
butterfly seemed confused and didn't leave at first.
Then, in one burst of zigzag fluttering, it erupted
from the cage and flew all the way to the end of the yard and down the hill by the school.
"That was the right thing to do," Kevin said.
"I know," I answered, even though I already
worried about the butterfly. What would it eat?
How would it live? Sometimes, though, the theme is not stated. Then you need to make an inference What clues
lead us to
the theme? Wild creatures
should be
free Common themes Persistence pays off
Honesty is better than cheating
It's more important to be nice than to be popular
Be careful what you wish for
Love is the most important force You've probably read something with this theme
before. And that's one of the neat things about
theme-the same ideas are repeated over and over. Can you find the theme? A day to play
Got washed away.
Rain comes down,
Covers town.
Eyes are sad.
Rain is bad!

Come downstairs,
Get the chairs,
Blankets, sheet,
Looking neat!
Inside forts
Instead of sports
Rainy day tears
Can turn into cheers. How does
the speaker feel
about the beginning
of the poem? More
Practice On your note taking sheet, there are four possible themes for this poem.

Pick out the theme(s) that you think fits this poem the best.

List at least two or three clues from the poem that support your theme. How do the speaker's feelings
change? Why are we talking about
theme? Knowing how to find the theme
of a writing piece is
important in literary analysis.
It is the "so what?" What the experts said: good can come of bad
a cheerful attitude can overcome obstacles Either one will work. Good can come of bad evidence from the text:
day starts out poorly because of the rain
the speaker builds indoor forts
the speaker realizes that rainy days can still be fun A cheerful attitude can
overcome obstacles evidence from the text

the speaker becomes open minded about indoor activities
the speaker changes his/her tone from "sad" and "bad" to "neat" and "cheers"
the speaker finds he/she is having a good time Recap and Next Steps What is theme?
What do you have to do when the author does not give you the theme?
Next steps: With your partner, review possible themes from The Pigman. Begin brainstorming. We all knew that it was time to set the butterfly
free. We had seen it make its chrysalis and emerge.
Then it had flown around in the cage, trying to
stretch its wings. Although we felt a little sad, we
opened the lid to the cage one evening. The
butterfly seemed confused and didn't leave at first.
Then, in one burst of zigzag fluttering, it erupted
from the cage and flew all the way to the end of the yard and down the hill by the school.
"That was the right thing to do," Kevin said.
"I know," I answered, even though I already
worried about the butterfly. What would it eat?
How would it live?
Full transcript