• Literary Themes
    In order for students to understand the BIG IDEA of a text they need to identify the literary theme of a text. Here are some helpful hints to guide you and your child when reading at home!

    Good vs. Evil
    Look For: care-taking, dishonesty, cheating, innocence, trustworthiness

    Ask:
    • What is the conflict between (character) and (character)?
    • Who represents good (protagonist)? Who represents evil (antagonist)?
    • How does (character)'s inner conflict test his/her values?
    • Will good always overcome evil? Explain.
    • Explain how the theme of good vs. evil is seen in this story. Give examples from the text to support your response.



    Love vs. Hate

    Look For: jealousy, friendship, family, loyalty, trust, betrayal, disappointment

    Ask:
    • Why did (character) feel betrayed by (character)?
    • How was (character) and (character) friendship tested?
    • What could (character) do to prove his loyalty to (character)?
    • Explain how the them of love vs. hate is seen in this story. Give examples from the text to support your response.


    Look For: rescue, sacrifice, heroism, independence, power, identity, heredity, esteem

    Ask:
    • In what way(s) did (character) demonstrate heroism in this reading?
    • Identify and explain the sacrifice (character) made throughout this story.
    • How is (character's) independence important in his/her ability to demonstrate courage in this story?
    • Explain how (character's) self-esteem/identity was a factor in the fear/courage he/she exhibited in this reading.
    • During the rescue in this story, both courage and fear were factors. Explain.
    • Explain how the theme of courage vs. fear is seen in this story. Give examples from the text to support your response.


    Hope vs. Despair

    Look For: determination, having a dream or vision, perseverance, optimism, pessimism, cynicism, grief, higher belief system

    Ask:
    • Explain how perseverance is seen throughout the story.
    • What aspects of grief are seen in the story? Give examples from the text to support your thoughts.
    • How does the main character show determination?
    • Explain a point in the story where optimism is apparent.
    • Explain a point in the story where pessimism is apparent.
    • Describe the dream or vision of the main character. What does he or she do to achieve that dream?
    • Explain how the theme of hope vs. despair is seen in this story. Give examples from the text to support your response.



    Man vs. Nature

    Look For: victory at sea, survival of a catastrophe, rescue, overcoming natural elements, animal survival, endangerment of habitats, plants or wildlife

    Ask:
    • What did (character) learn about himself/herself while living in nature?
    • What adaptations did (character) us to survive in nature?
    • Explain how the theme of man vs. nature is seen in this story. Give examples from the text to support your response.



    Prejudice vs. Tolerance

    Look For: shame, racism, ignorance, difference, eccentricity, abuse of power, acceptance

    Ask:
    • How did (character) overcome racism to achieve his/her goal?
    • explain a point in the story where shame is apparent.
    • What aspects of racism are seen in this story? How does this affect the plot of the story?
    • What differences, seen in the story, lead to conflict?
    • How did a (character) abuse power?
    • Explain how acceptance has come about in the end of the story.book
    • Explain how the main character has shown acceptance
    • Explain how the main character has grown or changed throughout the story.
    • Explain how the theme of prejudice vs. tolerance is seen in this story. Give examples from the text to support your response.
Last Modified on August 20, 2009