Finding Theme


Two Steps to Finding a Theme

The bottom line is that you won't find the theme of a book spelled out for you anywhere! But that doesn't mean you have to worry. You just have to read the book and get a feel for the message it conveys to you.

1. When you finish reading a book, ask yourself to sum up the book in a single word. For example, a single word for the book The Three Little Pigs: trickery or deception. Deception is the subject of the book.

Or Hardwork

2. Next, stretch that single word into a message: When you decieve you hurt others as well as yourself.

or Hardwork always paysoff.

There are many ways to think of theme that help us clarify individually:

  • Big idea stretched to message
  • Lesson
  • Author’s purpose

(We use the term Main idea when we talk about non-fiction- as there is only one main idea.  Big idea is more flexible and may rely on what the reader’s experiences bring to interpretation. Other schools use the terms interchangably)

You can also ask yourself:

The author showed me... (text event/s) because he or she wanted me to understand...

The author showed me that only one little pig worked hard on his house because he or she wanted me to understand that hardwork pays off in the end.  His hardwork saved all of their lives.