Teaching about Themes... using the cupcake analogy!

A theme anchor chart that shows how themes in literature are like filled cupcakes. Uses the cupcake analogy to discover and explain story themes. (Includes FREE posters!)

This anchor chart explains the analogy that I share with my students.
A theme anchor chart that shows how themes in literature are like filled cupcakes. Uses the cupcake analogy to discover and explain story themes. (Includes FREE posters!)

This all started a few years ago, when my upper elementary students were struggling with the concept of "theme". Many of them were confusing "theme" with "main idea", even after all of our practice activities. I needed to try something different... something that would be catchy enough to stick with my fourth and fifth graders. I'm not sure how I came up with theme-filled cupcakes. I suppose I was rhyming words in my head, and realized "cream" rhymes with "theme". Anyway, when "theme-filled cupcakes" crossed my mind, I knew I was on to something.  After all, the theme of a book is usually hidden, just like the creme inside a cupcake. Theme is the central message of a book, just as creme is central to the cupcake.

If you have followed me for awhile, you already know that I have a sweet tooth and that I love food analogies. Also, I often design my anchor charts to match other activities I do with my students.  (I believe this helps students build connections and retain the huge amount of new learning they encounter each day!)

Click on either of the images below to download my free theme posters!
A theme anchor chart that shows how themes in literature are like filled cupcakes. Uses the cupcake analogy to discover and explain story themes. (Includes FREE posters!)            A theme anchor chart that shows how themes in literature are like filled cupcakes. Uses the cupcake analogy to discover and explain story themes. (Includes FREE posters!)  

If you would like to take a look at the theme resources available in my store, click HERE. My theme filled cupcake craftivity is one of my favorite activities of the year!

This theme activity was created to help students truly understand the meaning of themes in literature. (A theme is hidden in a book just like creme can be hidden inside a cupcake!) Four passages are included. Students lift the flap to reveal the theme of each passage!
Amy Candler took the lovely photographs for this image!


4 comments:

  1. The anchor chart looks great! I love the cupcake comparison and the examples you included.

    Mary
    Fit to be Fourth

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  2. Great connection from cupcake to theme, Deb! I think this will at least entice them enough to listen and think while they imagine eating a cupcake. ;)
    Kelli
    Tales of a Teacher

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  3. I love the cupcake connection - plus I love cupcakes with cream in the middle!! Thanks for sharing this idea : )

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  4. I have the cupcake craftivity, so I'm excited to make this anchor chart to go with it. I totally use your craftivities as end of the week rewards. My kiddos work diligently all week so they can earn snack/craft on Friday {they don't even realize they're working!} And who doesn't love a cream filled cupcake? Yummy!

    A Teaspoon of Teaching

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