Teaching Theme - ProTeacher Community


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Teaching Theme
Old 02-14-2009, 06:49 PM
 
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This is my first year in 5th grade and one of our state standards states that I need to teach about theme in literature. Does anyone have any suggestions/ideas or suggested children's literature that I could use? I have thought about using fables since they have morals and I could tie those in to the theme. What do you think?


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Old 02-14-2009, 09:12 PM
 
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I think that's a great idea. I now teach 8th grade LA but I just left my 5th grade job, which I had for several years. One thing I had started to do was bring in picture books - really short ones, even, or Little Golden Books. I would read them aloud and then we would talk about the theme. It was great b/c we could read a book and discuss the theme in under 15 minutes (thereby allowing other things to be scheduled during Lang. Arts time) and they weren't intimidated by trying to figure out the meaning of a "big" book.
I tried this a few times and was surprised at how effective it was. They sometimes picked up on themes that I sort of missed.

(I always brought picture books in; I would tell the kids to never underestimate a "kiddie" book b/c sometimes there were deeper meanings that they didn't pick up on as little kids, but would understand now.)
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Teaching Themes-Printable Posters
Old 02-14-2009, 11:20 PM
 
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Beth Newingham has a web page where she tells how she discusses themes with her 3rd grade students as well as some photos and downloadable posters.

If these are similar to what you teach, you might be able to use the posters with her ideas for books that fit the themes.

"Finding Common Themes in Literature"-Beth Newingham
http://hill.troy.k12.mi.us/staff/bne...eb3/Themes.htm
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Thank you!
Old 02-16-2009, 11:29 AM
 
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These sound great! I will visit the site to see if I can get some more ideas!
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Theme
Old 02-18-2009, 04:20 PM
 
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Be careful that you aren't teaching them about morals or lessons. Themes in books are the BIG IDEAS which is very different than what the kids learned from reading the book. For example, books may be really about poverty, overcoming obstacles, finding your true identity, etc. I have a list somewhere. If I can find it I will post it.

Good luck!


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