What is Theme? A main idea, moral, or lesson conveyed in a provided text. The message may be about life, society, or human nature. Themes often explore timeless and universal ideas and are almost always implied rather than stated explicitly.
THEME IS NOT PLOT! Plot describes what happens in a story; the sequence of events that takes the characters through a conflict to a resolution. • The plot of a story takes place from beginning to end, while the theme may not be discovered until the text has been completed. • Plot, characters, setting, and style all contribute to building the theme, but are not found in the theme itself.
Put simply, the plot is the actual storyline, whereas the themeis the main idea or thought the author is attempting to portray.
PLOT is A LOT THEME is THEMEssage
Directions: Read the following two stories silently two yourself and identify: • The plot of the story • The Theme of the story
A group of frogs were traveling through the woods, and two of them fell into a deep pit. When the other frogs saw how deep the pit was, they told the two frogs that they were as good as dead. The two frogs ignored the comments and tried to jump up out of the pit with all their might. The other frogs kept telling them to stop, that they were as good as dead. Finally, one of the frogs took heed to what the other frogs were saying and gave up. He fell down and died.The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Once again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die. He jumped even harder and finally made it out. When he got out, the other frogs said, "Did you not hear us?" The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time. -author unknown
A farmer had some puppies he needed to sell. He was painting a sign advertising the pups when a young boy approached him. “Mister," he said, "I want to buy one of your puppies." "Well," said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat off the back of his neck, "these puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money." The boy dropped his head for a moment. Then reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer. "I've got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?”“Sure," said the farmer. With that he let out a whistle, "Here, Dolly!" he called. Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran Dolly followed by four little balls of fur. The little boy pressed his face against the chain link fence. His eyes danced with delight. As the dogs made their way to the fence, the little boy noticed something else stirring inside the doghouse. Slowly another little ball appeared; this one noticeably smaller. Down the ramp it slid. Then in a somewhat awkward manner the little pup began hobbling toward the others, doing its best to catch up. “I want that one," the little boy said, pointing to the runt. The farmer knelt down at the boy's side and said, "Son, you don't want that puppy. He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs would.“ With that the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down, and began rolling up one leg of his trousers. In doing so he revealed a steel brace running down both sides of his leg attaching itself to a specially made shoe. Looking back up at the farmer, he said, "You see sir, I don't run too well myself, and he will need someone who understands.” -author unknown
Themes or Topics?Discuss how to make these ideas themes • Friendship • Courage • Hope • Trust • Justice • Violence • Race-relations • Love • Freedom • Childhood • Survival • Growing up • Family