Theme Topics
love, friendship, perseverance, individuality, responsibility, trustworthiness, citizenship, loneliness, loss, hope, honesty, family, jealousy, respect, caring, bravery, happiness, acceptance, courage, compassion, cooperation, kindness, loyalty

Common Themes
  • Crime does not pay.
  • Never give up.
  • Lying does not pay.
  • Family should always be most important.
  • Just when you think life is finally going to be easy, something bad happens to balance it all out.
  • Honesty is always best.
  • Everyone needs to feel like they fit in.
  • Death is part of the life cycle.
  • Sacrifices bring their own reward.
  • Human beings all have the same needs.
  • Live each day like it’s your last.
  • Appreciate what you have.
  • We are all unique in our own way.
  • Do what makes you happy. 
  • Always believe in yourself.
  • Never judge a book by its cover.
  • Love is the worthiest of pursuits.
Graphic Organizer_What's the Big Idea

The Butterfly



Big Al

Giraffe's Can't Dance

Summarizing with a Theme
Genre Characteristics

FANTASY: contains elements that are not realistic

  • talking animals
  • magical powers
  • often set in a medieval universe
  • possibly involving mythical beings


  • stories centered around the basis of a partially historical situation
  • a novel set in a historical period

MYSTERY: a novel involving:

  • strangeness
  • solving a puzzling event or situation
  • something unknown
  • solving a crime
  • centered around a person who investigates wrongdoing o centered around a person or persons employed to obtain
  • secret information


  • stories that take place in modern times
  • characters are involved in events that could happen
  • stories that often tell about science and technology of the future
  • involving partially true fictions laws or theories of science
  • Settings: in the future, in space, on a different world, in a different universe or dimension 

Vocabulary Strategies

Cause and Effect

Summarizing a Story

Setting and Character Analysis with Demeter and Persephone

Drawing Conclusions with Mrs. LaRue- click HERE

Main Idea Practice- BrainPop

Sequencing Games- click here

Literature Groups- example of a book trailer

Video: Great Chicago Fire 1871
Marianne Rehfield,
Apr 6, 2018, 7:28 AM
Ardith Zucker,
Mar 24, 2015, 6:24 PM
Ardith Zucker,
Mar 24, 2015, 6:25 PM
Ardith Zucker,
Mar 24, 2015, 6:25 PM
Marianne Rehfield,
Mar 21, 2017, 7:57 PM