What is a theme? Themes often come from ideas or aspects explored in a text. For example, friendship is an idea explored in Harry Potter. What ideas are explored in the novel you have been reading? Make a list.
An idea is not a theme It is not as simple as that (it never is!) A theme should be a complete thought, rather that a single word. So… what is the writer saying about friendship in Harry Potter? In order to work this out, you need to explore what the idea of friendship means. Log onto www.visualthesaurus.com and explore the meaning of the terms and the ideas you have identified in the novel you have been reading.
Exploring meaning What does this tell us about the issue of friendship?
Turning an idea into a theme So what is the writer saying about friendship in Harry Potter? Forming friendships are an important part of growing up and influence the person you grow up to become.
Take your list of ideas featured in the novel. Now turn them into themes.
Think about what the author is saying about these ideas.
What are you being told about the ideas?
Share these ideas with a partner.
Picking the key themes As a class decide of 5 key themes shown in the novels. Divide into 5 groups to explore how the themes are presented and developed.
How are themes presented and developed? There are a number of ways themes can be presented and developed in a novel:
Through plot events
Through the setting
Through the author’s style
Can you think of any more? Quickly discuss which characters, events and settings are used to explore the theme you have been allocated.
Analysing the themes On A3 paper create a grid for exploring the themes:o Complete the grid finding examples of how the themes are presented and developed in the novel.thistell us about the characters?
Evaluating the themes After hearing feedback from the groups on their investigation into the different themes, create a rank order of the 5 themes. Now write a short personal response to this question (aim for 2-3 paragraphs with examples from the novel) ‘Which theme do you think is the most important in the novel and why?’