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.

I Went Up One Pair of Stairs

Now I will tell you a joke; whatever I say to you, you must answer “Just like me.” Now we will begin. I went up one pair of stairs. Just like me. I went up two pair of stairs. Just like me. I turned myself round about. Just like me.…

Where I Lived, and What I Lived For

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) was a noted American writer, philosopher, and essayist. His 1854 book, Walden, explores his experiment in living a simplified life in the woods as a way to explore his inner self. He lived in the woods for two years. This passage reflects upon his selection of…

Amanda’s First Day

Amanda was not happy. She held her father’s hand tightly. “It’s time to say goodbye, Amanda. Have fun with your new class,” Amanda’s father said. Amanda let go of her father’s hand. She looked at the ground. “I’m scared,” she whispered. “It will be okay. There’s your new teacher now.” Amanda…

Cali Scores a Goal

It was the last game of the season. Cali had been playing soccer all summer. She really enjoyed running around with the other players in her bright blue uniform, chasing the black and white ball across the grassy field. As much as she tried, though, Cali still had not scored…

The Story of the Three Bears

Once upon a time there were Three Bears, who lived together in a house of their own, in a wood. One of them was a Little, Small, Wee Bear; and one was a Middle-sized Bear, and the other was a Great, Huge Bear. They had each a pot for their…

When Wendy Grew Up

In the final chapter of Peter Pan, all the Darling children have returned home from their adventures with Peter in Neverland. Mr. and Mrs. Darling have agreed to adopt all the Lost Boys. Peter, however, is still hoping to convince Wendy to return to Neverland with him. ——————————-  Mrs. Darling…

Little Red Riding-hood

Persons in the Play-Little Red Riding-Hood, Mother, Bird, Wolf, Miller, Grandmother ———————————— Scene I.-At Red Riding-Hood’s Home MOTHER: Would you like to go to grandmother’s to-day, my child? The sun is bright and the air is warm and pleasant. LITTLE RED RIDING-HOOD: Yes, mother, you know I always like to…

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…

Primary Source: Spanish Flu Pandemic

The Oregonian is a daily newspaper in Portland, Oregon. It has been published daily since 1861. This is a newspaper article from The Oregonian published October 12, 1918. The flu epidemic is believed to have begun in late 1917 or early 1918. The U.S. had entered World War I on…

A Bike for Ben

“Hey, Ben, let’s go ride to the park,” called Dion. He and Thomas were on their bikes and wanted Ben to come along. Ben shook his head sadly. All of his friends had bicycles. He did not. Ben wished he had one so he could go riding with his friends.…