When doing literary analysis with your students, the theme of the story can be one of the most challenging parts to discuss. The theme does not always have a concrete answer like the setting or the main idea does. The theme is subjective, and there can be a handful of themes in just one story. Furthermore, students should know the difference between theme and main idea or motif. For example, a theme should be more than one word. It should be a statement that can apply to many people. So, how do we go about discussing themes in the classroom? The following are some ways you and your students can effectively examine the themes of the stories together. Establish Objective Facts First To make your students begin thinking more about the theme, you need to make sure they have the essential elements down first. Knowing the who (characters), what (main idea), and where (setting) are important for students to start with before moving onto harder literary analysis like theme. For example,...