When I think about setting up my classroom each year, I choose a character from a book or an animal to help me set the theme. This year I chose bears. Once I decide on a theme, I will find as many books on the subject or character as possible. Whatever I can find in keeping with the theme I use in the class. This can include the bulletin board border; turning the story into a pocket chart for a center; having students make an innovation and putting it in the class library; making a word bank using a themed shape; or assigning homework that is theme-related. I may even use songs, recipes, and art projects that relate to the theme.

Think of how the theme fits into these categories:

  • Reading (books, pocket charts)
  • Writing (writing/illustrating their favorite part)
  • Art (puppets, paint, mosaic)
  • Music (songs related to the theme)
  • Science (How does it work? What does it eat? Where does it live?)
  • Cooking (food that ties in to the theme)