Theme in the Elementary Classroom

I love teaching theme.  Usually teaching 4th grade students have heard and had experience by the time they come to me.  Below are some great stories and activities I love to do with theme! I alwa!ys like to reinforce that theme can *apply to anyone's life *be a lesson/moral *does not include any character names

  This story is such a great lesson for any age! A boy learns a valuable lesson when the emperor is choosing his successor.  I love the cultural element this book provides as well!

Mr. Peabody's Apples is a fantastic book to illustrate theme. A boy learns just how much a rumor can damage a reputation and how hard it is to get it back. I love how relatable this book is.  The lesson can truly be applied to any child in a way they understand the consequences of their actions.

Miss Rumphius is just beautiful.  This book has underlying themes that my students just love -this is always a favorite!  The artwork that accompanies it as well is just outstanding.  Miss Rumphius is on the road to making the world more beautiful, fulfilling a final wish.  It speaks on more than just a surface level - to your heart as well.

 This book is quickly becoming a favorite.  Although finding the theme takes a little synthesizing, I love taking that journey with my class.  The illustrations and point of view the story takes make it a fun and quick read but the layers below the surface really bring up some good discussion points and about cooperation!

This book is a stand out picture book! The girl misses a crucial opportunity to be kind and it reflects upon how that effects her.  The book is great for elementary students and is packed with essential lessons that students need to know!  The figurative language really bring this story to life.

If you like any of the stories above - they are included in my Theme QR Listening Center along with rigorous questions and text based evidence proving theme.  They go hand in hand with my instruction on the topic during that week!  Check them out!


I love making anchor charts to study theme.  We use our read aloud and explore that and other stories daily to examine the theme.  

There are some great FREE worksheets you can find here!

My kids also do this great sort between theme and main idea.  Some need this extra reinforcement!

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