Exercises - How to Develop a Story Theme

1. Answering Questions

Using the information you have read in the second lesson of this section, answer the following questions.

  1. How should a theme be introduced in a story?
  2. What is the difference between a simple theme and an implied theme?
  3. What are the four ways to express a theme?
  4. What is an example of a simple theme?
  5. What is an example of an implied theme?

2. Match Up

Match the simple theme with the story listed below.

  1. Sacrifice
  2. Circle of Life
  3. Love
  4. Friendship

  • A story about a struggling father who works two jobs while supporting his wife and two children.
  • A story about two girls who start to hang out with each other and grow up with each other.
  • In the Lion King, Mufasa teaches Simba this.
  • Bella, the main character, is torn between a vampire named Edward and a werewolf named Jacob.

3. Expressing Themes

Read each story. Decide what the theme is for each story and explain your answer.

  1. One mouse was bragging to another mouse that he knew 30 ways of getting away from dogs and cats. “I know so many ways of getting away from our enemies,” said the mouse. “I only know one way of getting away. It’s the best one I know of,” said the other mouse. Several feet away, an orange cat caught its eye on the two mice. The mouse who only knew one way hid amongst some bushes. The other mouse who knew so many ways was thinking about them. First he thought of one way to hide, but then he thought of another. By the time he figured out what to do, the cat already devoured him.
    What was the theme? Explain.

  2. Harold liked Tina more than any other girl in the class, but he had an odd way of showing it. When she walked ahead of him in line, he kicked at her leg. When she passed him in the playground, he called her “Terrible Tina.” He even wrote a mean word on her homework during the bus ride to school. But what confused Tina the most was getting an invitation to Harold’s birthday party in the mail. Figuring that he was just planning a mean trick on her, Tina decided not to go. While Harold waited for Tina to come to his house, Tina talked on the phone to Luther. When Harold finally realized that Tina was not coming to his party, he was heartbroken.
    What was the theme? Explain.