How to Help Kids Identify the Theme of a Story
After reading the story, discuss these questions to the best of the ability of the child.
- Was what happened at the end good or bad?
- Why was it good or bad?
- The main character learned that in this situation he should_______________.
- In general the main character learned that in life he should_______________.
- Which lesson is more important for us?
- What's the most important theme (message, lesson)?
Williams, J.P. (1993). Comprehension of students with and without learning disabilities: Identification of narrative themes and idiosyncratic text representations. Journal of Educational Psychology, 85, 631-641.
Williams, J.P., Brown, L.G., Silverstein, A.K., & De Cani, J. (1994). An instructional program in comprehension of narrative themes for adolescents with learning disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly, 17, 205-221.
The 4 Component Model
- Ethical Sensitivity - Evidence of concern for others and awareness of the consequences of one's actions.
- Ethical Judgment - Shows characters deliberating about ethical choices.
- Ethical Focus - Addresses the ethical demand in the situation, prioritizing moral goals and responsibilities over selfish interests.
- Ethical Action - Has a character who takes several steps to reach a moral goal and perseveres to complete the ethical action.