Thinking About Theme: Anchor Chart & Freebie

Theme can be a tricky topic to teach and one that I try to touch on all year long with the different Teacher Time books and read aloud books we cover. My experience has been that when we discuss it all year long, students are able to deepen their understanding gradually, as opposed to an isolated lesson here or there. Plus, the added benefit of seeing them connect books through theme at this point of the year reminds me why it's often worth it to go slow on these more "out there" topics.

I wanted to share my Anchor Chart with you today to give you a visual idea of the definition we give to theme as well as the questions we ask when we get to the end of a book to help discover its theme(s).


One of the ways I like to incorporate this lesson is by using this simple and free worksheet, available HERE.

It mimics the questions and ideas from the anchor chart, while allowing students to plug in their own thinking and responses when they are done with a book. The best part? You can print two or four of these to a page and make small slips to have kids fill out when they finish a book. It can become a quick "theme-check" and could easily tie into more theme work, a bulletin board display, or more!



For two-on-one, adjust your print settings to:


And for four-on-one, adjust your print settings to:


To pick up this free response sheet, click HERE.


I hope this can be put to good use this time, or anytime throughout the year!



1 comment

  1. Maybe it's different at the secondary level, but I always thought (and thus teach my students) that theme cannot be expressed in a single word, but rather, is a complete statement. Things like "courage," "honesty," etc. are subjects, not themes?

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Thank you so much for your comments! :)
~Stephanie

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