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.

Peggy and June

Today was the day of the big race, and every frog in the first grade at the Pond School wanted to win. Peggy was not happy. She knew she couldn’t jump as far or as fast as the other frogs. Whenever she got excited, her feet twitched. When her feet twitched,…

Marley’s Ghost

Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol is the story of Ebenezer Scrooge, a successful businessman in Victorian London. This passage is from the beginning of the tale. —————————— The door of Scrooge’s counting-house was open, that he might keep his eye upon his clerk, who in a dismal little cell beyond,…

Wendy’s Story

Peter Pan is the story of the adventures of Wendy, John, and Michael Darling after they meet the flying boy, Peter Pan. Peter teaches them to fly, and they leave the Darling home through an open window. They go with Peter to his home in magical Neverland. Once there, Wendy…

Portia’s Speech

In Shakespeare’s comedy The Merchant of Venice, the merchant Antonio has taken a loan from the money-lender Shylock who dislikes him very much. The terms of the loan say that if Antonio does not pay the loan back on time, Shylock may take a pound of Antonio’s flesh which would…