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.

  1. Was what happened at the end good or bad?
  2. Why was it good or bad?
  3. The main character learned that in this situation he should_______________.
  4. In general the main character learned that in life he should_______________.
  5. Which lesson is more important for us?
  6. 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.