The following set of activities, adaptable for grades K-3, provide parents and educators with ideas for teaching about theme. These are designed to complement the BrainPOP Jr. Theme  topic page, which includes a movie, quizzes, online games, printable activities, and more.

Classroom Activities for Teaching About Theme

Write a Fable

Brainstorm different fables and fthairy tales with the whole class. Remind students that the moral is a lesson taught in the story. The moral can also be the theme. Analyze a few fairy tales or fables and discuss the characters, plot, and conflict. How do the characters change and what do they learn? Help students identify the moral. Then have students choose a moral or theme and write their own fable or fairy tale that explores it. Students can share their writing with each other or with the whole class. They may want to illustrate their work or swap with a partner and illustrate their partner’s story.

Conflict and Solution Skits

Review with students that stories have a conflict, or a problem, that the characters face. Discuss a story or book you’ve read as a class recently and identify the central conflicts. You may want to sort the conflicts into internal and external problems. Discuss with students  how each conflict is solved. Use a graphic organizer to keep track of students’ ideas. Then have small groups create a skit in which the characters face a conflict. Have them create an outline of the plot, discuss character traits, and compose a skit. Students can perform their skits in front of the class. Discuss each skit and the theme with the whole class.

Film Review

Remind students that artwork and films also have themes. Discuss different films together students have seen, and encourage them to identify the theme. What clues and details did they use to identify the theme? Have students explain their thinking. Then have students watch a film at home and review it. Encourage then to determine whether it does it good job of addressing the theme. Have students share their reviews with the class and hold a discussion about the themes explored in their films. What other films explore similar themes?

Family and Homeschool Activities for Teaching About Theme

Pictures Worth a Thousand Words

Remind your child that art, such as photography, has themes, too.  Visit a museum or a gallery or search for photographers on the Internet together. Choose a photographer and explore the themes he or she expresses in his or her work. Photographers like Ansel Adams explore themes about nature, whereas Dorothea Lange captured themes about survival or determination. After studying the work of selected photographers, have your child take photographs that explore a specific theme. What elements in their photographs support the theme?

Family History

Every family has a story. Discuss moments in your family history with your child. The stories can be happy or a time when your family faced a challenge. How did family members solve a particular problem? How did the family grow and change? Write down one of the stories with your child. What theme does this story express? You may want to collect the stories on a private blog or in a book and continue to add to it as your family grows, changes, and experiences new adventures.

Filed as:  Theme