Exploring Theme with A Piece of Home

Have you ever had to move from a place you loved? Do you have students who have moved from another place and found it hard to fit in? Then today's Book Talk Thursday and Virginia Readers' Choice pick is for you!
Theme in fiction can be tricky because so many times more than one are present in a story. Using picture books to explore theme will help students with this tricky comprehension skill.

(Affiliate links are scattered throughout this post.) A Piece of Home by Jeri Watts will help students understand how they can make the best of a new situation.

I remember when I had to move away from my home state of Louisiana right before my 8th grade year. It was hard to make that big move 20 hours away in Virginia. But I found a little bit of something here that felt like home, and I never left.

When Hee Jun and his family move from Korea to West Virginia, everything has changed. The culture shock is unbelievable for the family, and everyone has to find a way to cope with the new world, different people, and a new language.

It seems his grandmother's spirit is crushed, and Hee Jun finds a way to help her as he begins to make friends and speak the language of his peers. The flower he finds helps his grandmother find her piece of home.

As the characters in A Piece of Home find their way through this new world, they realize that everything will be all right.

Working with fifth graders at this time of year allows me to review important skills with them to get them ready for the state assessments. One of the skills they needed was with main idea in fiction.

Except, it's not really main idea, is it?

It's now theme.

So, theme we did!
Theme in fiction can be tricky because so many times more than one are present in a story. Using picture books to explore theme will help students with this tricky comprehension skill.

After reading the story to the group, they came up with a theme (or themes) that made sense for the story. Here are some of their thoughts.
Theme in fiction can be tricky because so many times more than one are present in a story. Using picture books to explore theme will help students with this tricky comprehension skill.


Theme in fiction can be tricky because so many times more than one are present in a story. Using picture books to explore theme will help students with this tricky comprehension skill.

It's amazing what they came up with, and it really shows that the reader brings in a lot about themselves when it comes to theme. There isn't always one right answer.

Using picture books like A Piece of Home will help children as they recognize theme in the stories they read.
Theme in fiction can be tricky because so many times more than one are present in a story. Using picture books to explore theme will help students with this tricky comprehension skill.

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