Special Collection: Top Stories for Teaching Theme
Teacher-approved stories, lesson plans, and activities for exploring theme in your classroom
A beautiful story by Rachel Vail and an iconic poem by Billy Collins explore ideas about growing up
Themes explored in the story and poem: Growing up means facing difficult truths. Growing up is inevitable and bittersweet.
This delightfully creepy play, based on the classic horror story by W.W. Jacobs, is paired with an informational text about how to make wishes come true.
Themes explored in the play: Be careful what you wish for. Greed leads to downfall. Getting what you want isn’t always a blessing.
A sweet story about finding the magic in everyday moments
Themes explored in the story: Special things happen every day all around us; whether we notice them depends on our attitude. People who might seem very different can all come together and share an emotional experience.
Can Scrooge change his ways before it’s too late?
Themes explored in the play: People can change for the better. Small acts of kindness and generosity matter. You don’t have to have a lot of money to be happy. It is our responsibility to help those in need when we are able.
A beautiful story by Jane Yolen about new beginnings is paired with a short article about the myth of the phoenix.
Theme explored in the story and myth: From endings can come new beginnings.
A relatable story by Rachel Vail about one girl’s desire for the “right shirt” is paired with a poem "Ode To My Shoes."
Themes explored in the story and poem: Physical objects can hold great meaning. Family is more important than anything. Money or material objects can’t bring true happiness.
13 and a Half: Dave Wheeler; The Monkey's Paw: Illustration by Gary Hanna; Voilà!: Peter Strain; A Christmas Carol:Art by Shane Rebenschied; Phoenix Farm: Illustration by Allan Davey; Good Enough: Illustration by Mora Vieytes