Elements of Literature
Understanding How Literary Elements Affect Text
Defining Theme

Theme is the central idea, purpose, or lesson that a story is trying to teach. You can think of theme as the universal truth found at the heart of literature. In most cases, you will not find the theme stated directly in the work, but will have to think about what the author’s meaning was when they were writing.

Use the note taking guide as you view the PowerPoint on theme and layers of meaning.


Layers of Meaning



California Content Standards
English and Language Arts
Grade Seven
ELA.7.3.0 Literary Response and Analysis
Narrative Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text
ELA.7.3.4. Identify and analyze recurring themes across works (e.g., the value of bravery, loyalty, and friendship; the effects of loneliness).