Theme

A theme is the central message or meaning of a literary work. It is usually not stated directly but needs to be inferred by the reader. It is a general conclusion or lesson about human nature or society. An example of a theme might be, “Money can’t buy happiness.” Below you will find reading comprehension passages that can be used for instruction on themes.

Old Dog

With great big brown eyes And a heart pure and true, She wagged her long tail, While she looked at you. Let’s go for a walk, She tried to say. But you stared at your phone, And the dog went away. She brought you a toy, Trying to get you…

Aidan and the Blue Whales

Aidan looked at the list of endangered animals his teacher gave the class. He leaned over to his good bud, Jacob. “Did you know there were so many animals in trouble?” Jacob nodded. “Yeah, my sister’s studying to be a marine biologist. That’s a scientist that studies animals in the…

Literary Lessons

In “Little Women,” readers follow the four March sisters as they grow up through the Civil War. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy are quite different from each other, but love each other dearly. As this passage starts, Meg is now married, Beth has recovered from a serious illness, Amy is…

The Early Bird Catches the Worm

The little bird perched itself on the tree branch outside Vanessa’s bedroom window. It trilled an energetic song as the first pale yellow rays of sunshine peeked over the horizon. “Oh my gosh, what is that noise?” she complained to herself, pulling her bed sheets over her head in an…

On the Shelf

The March sisters in Little Women have grown up. Meg, the oldest March sister, is now the mother of twins: a girl named Daisy and a boy named Demi. In this passage, the twins are toddlers. While Daisy is easy to put to bed, Demi doesn’t like to go to…

The Astrologer

A man who lived a long time ago believed that he could read the future in the stars. He called himself an Astrologer, and spent his time at night gazing at the sky. One evening he was walking along the open road outside the village. His eyes were fixed on…

Arachne’s Web

What had seemed like a good idea two weeks ago was turning into one of the most stomach-churning experiences of Katie’s life. She cautiously peeped through the heavy black curtains and then quickly yanked her head back into the backstage gloom. “She’s out there,” Katie breathed to Mila and Renee.…

Suzanna’s Summer Cottage

When the bell rang on the last day of school, Suzanna cheered with the rest of her classmates. School was over, and summer was beginning! Suzanna’s favorite season was summer. No coats, no homework, and no shoes either! Some children were excited to go to camp, or travel on a…

Rocky and the Squirrels

Rocky Raccoon was playing by himself at the park. He noticed a group of squirrels nearby, playing soccer with an acorn. It looked like fun, and Rocky wished he could play too. However, thinking about talking to others made him nervous and he wasn’t sure how to start. Why would…

Paul Finds A Lot Of Money

Steve grabbed his bat and glove. “See ya later, Mom. I’m going to Paul’s.” He raced out the door and slammed it behind him. Summer vacation just began. The boys planned to play baseball every day, so they could make the freshman team. Paul was waiting outside for Steve. “What…