The theme of a story is a message that the author is trying to express. The author does not explicitly state the theme. To discover the theme, the reader must make some deductions concerning events in the story.
Identifying the theme of a story can be challenging. Fortunately, as with all reading skills, practice makes perfect. These theme worksheets will help students achieve mastery of this essential reading skill. I recommend starting with the theme PowerPoint lesson posted below. Also, you may be interested in my advice on teaching theme.
I hope that these theme resources help students meet learning goals.
Quinn/ December 22, 2022
Thank you! during my winter break I have been reading your worksheet and powerpoint which will help me when I return. I am a beginners teacher. ELA/ICR teacher. Again thank you. Just what I needed.
editha galo/ April 3, 2022
Thank you very much, you relly of big help to us
Janet K./ March 10, 2022
And – to add – this is an awesome resource. Thank you so much for sharing it!
Janet K./ March 10, 2022
How do you find the students’ results? Not sure where to find report if there is one? Thanks!!
Mr. Morton/ September 24, 2022
They have to send them to you. I will look into the Classroom API again soon, but last I checked, I couldn’t do what you and I both want it to do.
Stephanie Hampton/ January 6, 2021
I really appreciate having a resource like this! It makes lesson-planning so much easier, especially when you can edit the resources to differentiate for students. Thank you so much for all of this!
KittyPom/ January 2, 2021
The useful website
Lily (Student)/ October 26, 2020
I love this site because it tells you everything we need. I think this is a pretty neat website, thank you.
Ll/ August 8, 2019
Hi, I was wondering could you send me a full sample essay about the theme so I could get a better understanding of it. Thank you.
Quintrell Williams/ May 16, 2019
Time for themessage
Analie S. Canete/ June 25, 2018
Thank you so much for helping me be ready to teach my students. It’s a big help that makes my work easier and more effective! God Bless!
Mr. Morton/ June 29, 2018
Thank you for the blessings!
Alan Chacon/ December 13, 2017
could you please provide an answer key to these lessons because I can’t tell if I am correct with my inferences. I understand how to identify them a little better, but if I knew I was correct it would help me and maybe some others with how they should think and if they are in the correct mindset It would help them indulge in positive reinforcement please read this and consider others learning process in your decision.
Mr. Morton/ December 13, 2017
There are answer keys. Click the links that say “View Answers” underneath the assignment sheets.
mariecel reynes/ February 15, 2017
the objective of my lesson is to explain how the elements build its theme, would you mind to please provide me materials for the evaluation of my lesson.tnx much
Burnett/ February 9, 2017
I loved these passages and powerpoint! I used them for my fourth grade class and they were right on target for their level. Thank you!
Pam/ January 15, 2017
I want to express my gratitude to you for providing these wonderful resources-free of charge! I love visiting your site.
ece huner/ October 20, 2016
In our lessons we are studying the difference between moral and the theme but in your pdf s it kinda says that there are the same thing. so what is the difference between them. Thank you 🙂
Mr. Morton/ October 26, 2016
They are similar, but a moral is usually explicitly stated, where a thematic statement is implied.
Antonio Soto/ October 19, 2016
at first i thought this would be a bad website, but now i stand corrected this site has helped me and my classmate with numerous amounts of classwork and homework
Mourad Romdhani/ October 12, 2016
A very helpful course for both student and teacher. Thank you very much for such high quality lessons.
Park/ May 25, 2016
Thank you very much for the great resources. I’ve been engaged with searching for such materials very long! and they are helpful for me and my class at school. And thank you for the great website!!
Nick Muzekari/ December 22, 2015
I will be teaching an online short story class this summer for the first time. I’m new to this and so am looking for material to help myself and the students. I believe I will get paid for teaching the class so I am asking permission to use EReading materials since I really love them and want to use them in the class. May I have permission?
Mr. Morton/ January 19, 2016
eileen/ March 3, 2016
hi Mr.Morton. i am having trouble on a theme packet that my teacher assigned me for homework . i do not understand what a theme is. can you help me??????
Mr. Morton/ March 15, 2016
Theme is the message of a story, the lesson that the author intends to impart through his or her story. So, read the story and ask yourself, is there a lesson to be learned here? Put that lesson into words, and you can say that you have found a theme in the story. Best wishes!
Jennifer Reed/ October 28, 2015
After reading the comments, they struck home for me. My colleagues and I are always discussing the definition of theme. For me, I think it is fair to differentiate for the student between universal and literary theme.
I make sure to talk to students about the definition of Universal Theme, one word, and the literary theme described here. Sometimes my at-risk students have to zero in on the one word before they can get to the generalization. If not, I end up with a main idea or plot summary instead.
I hope this helps, or adds to the discussion.
Mr. Morton/ October 28, 2015
Great contribution. Thank you.
Denise Ramos/ October 19, 2015
I appreciate these lessons and the guidance you provide! I am a beginning teacher, and I feel frazzled at times about how to put things, but your resources are very helpful. I was wondering, how did you become so good at creating lessons? Were there any books that helped you? Or was it time and practice that helped you organize your plans and lessons so well?
Mr. Morton/ October 26, 2015
I like to think that I have a way of getting to the point. I can’t recommend any books or resources that helped me out in any significant way. I can only point to the amazing teachers who inspired me and helped me grow. I’ve worked at some pretty messed up schools, but no matter how bad things were at times, there were always amazing people doing amazing things. I will never be the superb disciplinarian that Mrs. Smith, Mr. Dillard, or Mr. Tang were, but I’ve taken a little piece of them with me. I will never be as organized or as motivating as Mr. Phoenix was with his students, but I carry a little piece of him with me.
Find the teachers that inspire you. Fight to observe them. Take what you can.
That’s pretty much the best advice that I can give you about that topic.
Thank you for visiting my site and posing such an interesting question.
Danyell/ October 15, 2015
I, too, love this site and appreciate the information and activities. It is so helpful… I was wondering if you could add some expository writing activities.
Mr. Morton/ October 19, 2015
Like these expository writing prompts or did you have something different in mind?
Karen Schonewise/ October 2, 2015
THANKS so much. This site is great. I almost lost it on a student today who was trying to tell me theme was one word after I have spent a month teaching these juniors in high school that it is a sentence!!! This site is awesome!!
Mr. Morton/ October 2, 2015
Ha ha. It’s funny you say that. I’ve gone back and forth with terminally educated adults about this. I think a Common Core ELA glossary (like the one that they have for mathematics) would go a long way in resolving this debate. I also think that the word motif better fits the “a theme is one word” thing. Anyway, thanks for visiting the site and taking the time to comment. Best wishes!
Romel L./ September 30, 2015
You are the best. I am at a loss of words oh how to express my gratitude to you and this website that you have created. AWESOME-RIFIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mr. Morton/ October 1, 2015
I love the word that you invented. Thank you for visiting.