Saturday, November 22, 2008

More Examples of Theme from Students

More Examples of Theme from Students

Title: Where the Red Fern Grows Date Read: Nov. 14-19 Pages read: 1-90
p. 7 "It's not easy for a a young boy to want a dog and not be able to have one."
Theme: It's hard to want something you think you can't have.

p. 78 "He (the dog) seemed to be saying, 'You told us to put one in a tree, and you would do the rest.'
Theme: You should keep your promises.
Thanks to Parker M.

Title: The Doll in the Garden Dates read: Nov. 17 - 20 Pages read : 53-100
p. 69 "Miss Cooper shoved the empty box under my nose. 'Where's my doll?' 'I don't know.' I wasn't used to lying, and my voice sounded like someone else's, weak and trembly, almost a whisper."
Theme: I'ts a lot easier to solve problems when you tell the truth the first time.

p. 72 "Too often, when I was little, I'd make up stories. . . and sworn they were true. If I told her now, she'd never believe me."
Theme: You earn trust from other people when you are honest in your dealings.
Thanks to Natasha B.

Title: The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle Dates read November 19, 2008
Topic: A thirteen year old girl takes a sea voyage in 1832. She is the only passenger on ship the ends up embroiled in rebellion, changing her life.
Thanks to Allie A.

Title: Easer (?) Date read: November 16-20 Pages read: 1-280
Topic: A robot is trying to find his place in the world.
Passages that show themes:
p. 10 "He doesn't have any feelings, Chloe," Mr. Bell said to his wife. "He's a machine."
"You know what I think," she retorted, "Grumps cares for us just like one of the family."
Theme: Everybody should be treated equally and nicely, no matter who they are.

p. 280 "I am a part of this earth aren't I? Just like the birds and the trees and the people -- I am."
Theme: Everyone's special in their own special way.
Thanks to Ryan F.

Title: Airman Dates read: 11/13-11/19 Pages read: 1 - 128
Theme: Pages 1-10 Vigney risks his life for (newborn) Conor when they are in the hot air balloon. Theme: You must risk your life for something worth saving.
Thanks to Braydan B.

Some Themes for Whirligig by Paul Fleischman:
Sometimes we focus too much on our need to belong.
When we feel guilty, we may desire punishment.
Forgiveness is good for the one forgiving as well as for the one being forgiven.
Discovering new places and experiences helps us discover ourselves.

Themes for Because of Winn-Dixie:
Sometimes we're lonely because we won't let people see who we are.
Sometimes we're lonely because we are unlike the people around us.
Some people choose to be lonely.
By going through trials, we can discover what is really important in life.
Life is like a "Littmus Lozenge" because the sweet and the sad are often mixed in together.

Themes for The Tale of Desperaux (from the Bate Middle School Library Media Center Blog):
An unexpected friendship cab come together through facing hardships in one another’s lives.
Sometimes an unexpected hero rises above evil.
Even a little mouse (or person) can be a big hero.
We often do not like or respect those who are different, but compassion, kindness, and forgiveness can change our hearts.
The power of forgiveness overcomes troubled hearts.
It's okay to be different.
Follow your heart.

Themes for The BFG:
You can be friends with someone who is very different from you.
You can learn a great deal from someone who is very different from you.
Words can be powerful and fun.
It is good to be merciful even to those who are not. (The Queen doesn't want to kill the murderous giants.)
Don't judge people by how they look.
Even the very small can accomplish great things -- especially with help.
Kindness to others is important.

Themes from Shadows on the Sea:
Sometimes you have to make sacrifices you don't want to.
Curiosity can get you into trouble.
Sometimes you can trust the most unlikely people.
Thanks to Kasey M.

Themes from Sign of the Beaver:
Survival depends on our ability to adapt to new situations and challenges.
It is wise to protect the land.
Man cannot truly own the land.
  • Friendship between two people may depend on the patience of one. (American Indian Proverb)

  • Solitude is a good place to visit but a poor place to stay. (Josh Billings)

  • Understanding is a two-way street. (Eleanor Roosevelt)
Topic for The Teacher's Funeral: It's about a 15 year old boy in 1904 whose sister takes over his school when the former teacher dies.
Themes for The Teacher's Funeral:
You will never begin to grow up until you declare your independence from your peers.
We can build hope for the future.
As we grow up, we can learn to appreciate family members.
School is not a jail house, but a pathway to success.
Sometimes when we don't get what we dream of, we get something better.
Persistence pays off. (or) If you seem to be failing, you need to keep trying.
Often, we don't appreciate the people who are closest to us.
This quote from the book is a theme: "You wait for every last thing to get done, you won't go anywhere in life." -- Thanks to Rebecca G.

Themes from Tuck Everlasting:
Death is as much a part of life as living is and that it is not to be feared.
Life Is a cycle that is constantly changing.
Greed can do great damage.
It is a fine thing to develop the ability to understand the right thing to do and to act upon it, even if it is not the popular choice.
All of us, at one time or another in our lives must make moral judgments.
Behind the actions of many who make difficult but right choices is a deep-seated love for their families, their friends, and most importantly, humanity.
(adapted from

Themes from Where the Red Fern Grows:
You need determination to get what you want and to get things done.
Prayer can change things.
Selfless sacrifice can change things for the better.
Family bonds are among the most important things in the world.

More general themes:
Sometimes you need to speak your mind.
Everyone needs and friend. Thanks to Allie A.
It can be hard to do the right thing.
A little thing can make a big difference. Thanks to Natasha B.

Title: Love Comes Softly
Themes from the book:
Never judge what people think. You can't read their minds.
Instead of asking yourself waht you can do, tell yourself what you will do. Thanks to Courtney W.

Themes for You Don’t Know Me by Klass:
It is amazing the things you can learn about people when you actually take the time to look at them.
We can look at the awkward transitions of the teenage years with humor.
The people who know you best can hurt you the most.
Sometimes when someone makes life a joke, it is because underneath it all is profound pain and bitterness.
If you overcome your fears, you can live a better life. (He asks Gloria on a date, and she says yes.)
Even those people in the worst situations can be optimistic about life.
Life is, in the end, a love song.
We may be liked by those around us more than we know.

Themes for Crash by Jerry Spinelli:
It is often difficult to stick up for what you believe is right.
It doesn't pay to be a bully.
Sometimes our best friends are those who are very different from us.