Learning about Theme

Let's explore the concept of theme!

What is theme?

According to Dictionary.com... "a unifying or dominant idea, motif, etc., as in a work of art."

As Wikipedia would say...

"In contemporary literary studies, a theme is the central topic a text treats."

So what are some common themes?

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Honesty, Perseverance, Survival, Friendship, Love&Friendship, Person vs. Nature, Courage, Good vs. Evil, Family

So... what exactly makes up theme?

Who? (Characters)

What? (Plot)

When/Where? (Setting)

Theme vs. Main Idea

Theme: A moral, message or lesson.

Main Idea: A short summary of what the story is mostly about.


Theme: Friendship

Main Idea: No matter what happens, Spongebob and Patrick will always be friends.


Theme: Bravery/Courage

Main Idea: Even though his friends warned him, Nemo found his courage to touch, "The Butt".


Theme: Good vs. Evil

Main Idea: There is always a bad guy behind the mysteries in Scooby Doo, but Mystery Incorporated (Scooby and friends) will never let them get away with it!

Let's Practice Theme... We'll Start Off Easy!

Answers... Friendship, Be Yourself, Man VS Nature
Identifying Theme

Let's make this a little harder.

Below are some popular texts, some more recent and some a bit older. Pick one of the texts below that you have read or are very familiar with. If for some reason you have not read one of these novels, pair up with a friend who has. Grab a sheet of paper and...

1: Give me a brief summary of the story

2: Explain to me the characters, setting, and general plot

3: Choose a theme, discuss WHY you believe your story is this theme

The Start Of... CITY OF EMBER!!

Monday, Oct. 5th, 2pm

7000 South University Street

Normal, IL

We will be reading The City of Ember, by Jeanne DuPrau. There will be a few themes throughout this book. Our goal will be to be able to identify these themes!
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Can a story have more than one theme...?

!YES!


For example: Romeo and Juliet

What is our central theme? Love.


Can you think of any others?

Other possible themes= Individual vs. Society, Fate, Hate, Youth, Family... the list goes on!