3rd Grade - Determining The Theme In Fiction And Nonfiction

 
     
 
     
 
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3rd
Stories and Literature
Determining the theme in fiction and nonfiction
Determine the underlying theme or author's message in fiction and nonfiction text.
Student is able to find the theme or author’s message in the reading and use details from the reading to support their finding.
 

Sample Problems

(1)

What is the theme of the reading?

(2)

What is the author’s purpose in writing this?

(3)

Can a story have multiple messages?

(4)

What happened in the story that helps me to know the author’s message?

(5)

What is the tone or mood of the story?

Learning Tips

(1)

A story could have more than one theme. If your child gives a response that might not be the most prevalent theme ask them to explain how they came up with that theme and give examples from the story.

(2)

The author’s message in nonfiction text is usually clearly stated. If your child is just beginning to learn this concept this would be a good place to start. Children’s books on pollution, endangered animals, recycling usually have a section where the author will clearly state their position on the topic.

(3)

In fiction texts, the theme will most often have to be inferred. Start with a story your child is very familiar with. This way you’ll know that they comprehend the story and they will only have to focus on finding the theme.

(4)

Newspaper articles are great for determining an author’s message. You can find pieces in the food section, book reviews, or even politics. Read with your child and see if they can get the author’s message.

(5)

Poems are great for determining mood and author’s purpose. Find a couple of short children’s poems online or at the library and have your child read them. When they are done, discuss the mood and the author’s purpose with them.

Extra Help Problems

(1)

Answer the following eight questions about Charlotte’s Web.


What is the mood in the first five pages of Charlotte’s Web.

(2)

How does the author make you feel for Fern in the first chapter of the book?

(3)

What is the mood when Wilbur first arrives at Charlotte’s aunt’s farm?

(4)

How does the author make you feel for Charlotte when she saves Wilbur by spinning a web that shows kind words about him?

(5)

How do you feel for Wilbur when he finds out that he will no longer see Charlotte?

(6)

One of the themes in Charlotte’s Web is friendship. Can you give an example of this from the story?

(7)

What is the mood of the story at the fair?

(8)

One of the themes in Charlotte’s Web is courage. Can you give an example of this from the story?

(9)

Answer the following 9 questions on Sarah Plain and Tall.


What is the mood in chapter 2 of Sarah Plain and Tall when the family is waiting for Sarah to arrive?

(10)

In chapter 1, how does the author make you feel for Caleb and Anna when they find out that Sarah might come live with them?

(11)

One of the themes in Sarah Plain and Tall is family. Can you find an example of this from the book?

(12)

How does the author make you feel for Sarah when she first arrives on the farm?

(13)

How does the author make you feel for Caleb and Anna when you first find out that their mother passed away?

(14)

One of the themes in Sarah Plain and Tall is courage. Can you find an example of this from the book?

(15)

What Is the mood in the book when Sarah first meets Caleb and Anna?

(16)

What do you think was the author’s purpose in writing Sarah Plain and Tall?

(17)

What was the mood in the last chapter of Sarah Plain and Tall?

(18)

Answer the following eight questions on Pippi Longstocking.


One of the themes in Pippi Longstocking is adventure. Can you find an example of this from the story?

(19)

What is the mood in the story when the children first wake and get ready to go see Pippi Longstocking?

(20)

How does the author make you feel for Pippi when she helps stop the bullies from attacking Willie?

(21)

How does the author make you feel for the bullies who are attacking Willie?

(22)

One of the themes in Pippi Longstocking is friendship. Can you find an example of this in the book?

(23)

What is the mood of the story in the last chapter?

(24)

What was the author’s purpose in writing Pippi Longstocking?

(25)

One of the themes in Pippi Longstocking is courage. Can you find an example of this from the story?

 

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