How do you teach theme? - ProTeacher Community





TeachReading TeachReading is offline
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How do you teach theme?
Old 02-15-2008, 09:16 AM
 
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I need new ideas on teaching theme. My students just don't get it. I have used several ideas but obviously need more.


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I use film
Old 02-15-2008, 06:45 PM
 
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The Wizard of Oz has very explicitly stated themes, making this film a good one to help them see theme. At Christmastime, Elf has pretty obvious themes. Ice Age's themes aren't hard to see.

I've been using film in my lang. arts class for a few years now. If we can get kids to harness what they do so well with a film, and apply that to reading, their ability to infer all sorts of things should increase. I use film to make them AWARE of what they do.

After we do theme in this manner, they have a much easier time identifying the themes of novels.
 
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Thank you!
Old 02-19-2008, 08:16 AM
 
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Thank you very much...I will have to try this.
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Old 03-06-2008, 09:08 PM
 
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When introducing theme, I showed my students a painting. They talked about what they thought the message in the painting was. We talked about how author's have a message in their stories. I introduced characteristics of theme - truth about life, a complete idea, a message, not stated directly in the story, etc. I used Aesop's fables to model reading a story and writing what I thought the author's message was. I then went back and highlighted textual examples that helped me infer the the theme. I used 2 more fables for guided and independent practice.
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Theme = Life Lesson
Old 07-03-2008, 05:10 AM
 
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When I teach theme, I tell my students that the theme of a story is a "life lesson." The life lesson should be something they take away from the story that can make their life better every day.

For example: We read Wilma Unlimited in my class near the beginning of the year. The life lesson or theme in that story that is relevant to my students is to never give up, even when life makes it difficult.

My students seem to understand theme this way and I have them find the theme in every story we read.


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Old 08-06-2010, 11:34 AM
 
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Hi! Please be aware that theme is the message of the story but not a 'lesson'... that is moral. Moral tells us how to live our lives while theme makes a comment or observation on how we are already living- and it is not always uplifiting...
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theme is broader
Old 10-09-2010, 02:35 AM
 
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A theme can be a moral or lesson. It isn't just restricted to non-lesson topics; it can be an implied moral or lesson. (But it doesn't have to be!) A theme is whatever connects to the reader in a broader context. Some themse are more universal than others, but it is the individual reader that determines what the theme of a novel is.
 
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First read some obvious
Old 03-29-2011, 06:36 AM
 
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picture books and give a choice of theme (message or life lesson). There is a relatively small list of universal themes that fit many stories. I'll attach a list created by Beth Newingham. She also has ideas about types of conflict that can relate to theme (man vs. man, man vs. nature, etc.). Check out this post on Scholastic's Top Teaching site.

http://blogs.scholastic.com/top_teac...ture.html#more

Then check out this from Beth Newingham.

http://blogs.scholastic.com/top_teac...g-fiction.html

These two teachers are AMAZING and always a step ahead...
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