What is Theme? • Theme is the special message that a reader takes away from a story. No two readers will state a theme in exactly the same way.
How to Determine Theme • The Title: sometimes the writer will use the title to hint at the story’s theme. Consider what the title suggests. Why do you think the writer chose this title? • The Characters: how do the main characters change in the course of the story? What do they discover that could have meaning for other’s people’s lives – including y our own? • The Big Moments: Which scenes or passages in the story seem especially important? What revelations about life do they suggest to you? • The Resolution: how are conflicts or problems in the story settled? How do you feel about the outcome? Does the resolution give you an idea of what the story means?
Theme is a Message, Not a Summary • A summary explains what happens in a story. • A theme is the truth about life revealed in a story. BUT… • A summary can help you find the theme!
Somebody Wanted But So • Summarizing using Somebody Wanted But So: • Somebody – the most important character (character) • Wanted – what did this character want? • But – what happened to keep the character from getting what they wanted? (conflict) • So – what was the outcome? (resolution)
Whole Group/Teacher Modeling What is the theme of The Ant and the Grasshopper? • One summer's day a Grasshopper was hopping about, chirping and singing to its heart's content. An Ant passed by, bearing an ear of corn he was taking to the nest. • "Why not come and chat with me," said the Grasshopper, "instead of toiling in that way?" • "I am helping to lay up food for the winter," said the Ant, "and recommend you do the same." • "Why bother about winter?" said the Grasshopper; "we have plenty of food now." • The Ant went on its way. When winter came the Grasshopper had no food and found itself dying of hunger, while it saw the ants distributing corn and grain from the stores they had collected in the summer.
The Ant and the Grasshopper Title: The Ant and the Grasshopper
What is the theme? • It is best to prepare for the future! • Sacrifices bring rewards!
Debrief • How did you determine the theme? • What was the theme?