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Finding Themes in Literature

By Beth Newingham on June 14, 2013
  • Grades: 3–5

Finding common themes in literature is an important skill for growing readers. I use interactive theme posters to help my students practice this skill in my classroom.

Throughout the year, we explore common themes found in the texts I choose to read aloud. For example, one year, my class chose these six themes: Believe in Yourself, Accept Others' Differences, Don't Be Afraid to Try New Things, Honesty is the Best Policy, and Always be Kind to Others.

Every time we read a book that we think fits into one of themes, I print out a color copy of the book cover and add it to a specific theme poster in our classroom. I have found Google Images to be the best place to get quick copies of the front covers of the books.

To make the best use of space in my classroom, I use the cupboards in the back of my classroom to display the theme posters.

Comments (4)

Hi Beth,
I just discovered your site.
Your post on themes is going to be incredibly helpful in our volunteer tutoring program.

Hi Beth,
I love your ideas for some of your posters. (book recommendations, themes, etc.) I've tried downloading some of the fonts you've suggested, but have been unsuccessful. Do you by chance have any of your poster banners available for downloading?

Thanks very much,

Hi! I was also unable to download the cooperation poster on the Books With a Common Theme poster set. Love this set and would love to have them all. Any help?


Hi Beth,
Love all of your great theme posters. The only one that I could not get to print was the cooperation poster. Hope this one becomes available soon.

Thanks again for all of your help:)

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