Plot, theme and setting are important to the overall understanding of a fictional story. Reinforcing these concepts can be help your children develop a life long love of reading. The plot encompasses the events that occur within a story. When your child is reading, you can assist them to recognize the plot by asking them what has happened in the story. They should be able to recall facts that give a general overview. This can include information about the characters, setting, and the growth, development and the purpose of the writing. Reading Rockets provides more detailed examples of stories you can read at home, along with their plot style, that you can read and discuss at home.
The theme of a story is the main idea or lesson that is conveyed within the story. This would be determined typically at the end, or after reading a story. Asking your child about what they feel was the main concept of the story in a sentence or less would help them to identify a theme. Here is an engaging video example from Aseop’s Fables presented by McGraw Hill that helps children to understand theme.
The setting is where the story takes place. The settings may change throughout the story including various locations and time periods. Sometimes this will be directly stated, but other times there may be context clues to be able to determine the setting. You may have to help your child use the clues in the story to figure out the main setting or multiple settings. You can also have a discussion on why the author might have chosen the specific time period and location for the story and how it impacted the story.
What other fundamentals are there for parents to help their children learn about the plot, theme, and setting at home? Check back for more in this series about reinforcing the concepts of characterization, conflict, and mood at home.
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