Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Teaching the Theme of Books

Theme. A five letter word that has proven to be challenging for me over the last couple of days. There are so many different ways to teach the theme of a story. Some people think that theme is a universal word like "honesty" or "cooperation." Others think it is a lesson learned from the story. So which is it? And what is the best way to teach theme?

I decided to create a chart of common book themes in the first column, an explanation of each theme in the middle, and a column for book titles at the end. The kids have really used this chart when discussing theme during our reading workshop. They reference the chart looking especially at the explanation in the middle. For my kiddos, understanding words like "perseverance" and "compassion" can be difficult. The explanations seem to help with this!

Each day during reading workshop, I read a picture book with a different theme. After the book is over, we discuss the theme or lesson learned from the story (I still can't decide between the two- I taught my students that theme can be either!) Once we've decided the theme, I add a picture of the book to the last column. I've found that putting up a picture of the book is more helpful for triggering my students' memories than just writing the title of the book. Plus, adding this miniature picture is always exciting to them for some reason!

Here is a picture of the chart that we created: (we've only added a couple books so far)

I am working on making a list of picture books that go along with each theme. When I am finished with this list, I will share it here on my blog!

Well I can now say that I've posted my first "official" post on my blog... how'd I do?!

1 comment:

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