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This printable supports Common Core ELA Standard CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.4.2

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Theme and Main Idea (Grade 5)

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Theme and Main Idea

Instructions: In a story, the theme is the main idea or the overall message the story sends. To find the theme, you must look at the story as a whole and ask questions such as:

What's the point?
What are the most important details?
What does this story say about life?

1. 
Bill is one of those people who just doesn't have to worry about gaining too much weight. He is the best tennis player I've ever met. Bill can eat any amount of any food he likes without putting on an ounce. He can go for weeks without exercising without apparent effect. It just doesn't seem fair!

What is the main idea of the passage?
  1. Bill is one of those people who just doesn't have to worry about gaining too much weight.
  2. He is the best tennis player I've ever met.
  3. Bill can eat any amount of any food he likes without putting on an ounce.
  4. He can go for weeks without exercising without apparent effect.
  5. It just doesn't seem fair!
2. 
Please don't spend a lot of money on my birthday present. I'm just thankful to have such a wonderful mother and father. I'll just use the little money I have to buy myself an inexpensive coat. And if I can only find coats that cost more than what I have saved up, I'll just continue wearing the coat I have, even if the zipper is broken.

What is the message?
  1. I don't want a gift.
  2. Buy me a coat.
  3. The zipper on my coat is broken.
3. 
The tortoise and the hare were going to have a race. The hare knew he was faster than the tortoise. After the race had begun, the hare decided he was fast enough he could take a break and catch up to the tortoise later. The tortoise, even though he was slow, kept trying his hardest to win the race. When the hare tried to catch up and beat the tortoise it was too late. He had waited too long to try to win the race and the tortoise beat him.

Which statement provides the best moral for this story?
  1. Being fast means you always win.
  2. Slow and steady wins the race.
  3. You should give up if you are the slowest.
  4. Winning isn't everything.

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