Central Message, Lesson or Moral in Fiction Texts Resources
The ability to understand the key message in a passage is a critical reading comprehension skill. These resources give your child short text blocks to read and ask comprehensive questions to get your young one on the path to discovering themes, lessons, and messages themselves. For more practice, see our identifying main topics in non-fiction texts resources
Once your students are able to read well and can understand the structure of a story you can teach them about the moral, or central message, of the story. Often presented in an analogous way, the central message of the fictional piece is a lesson that the author presents to the reader without putting it forward bluntly, forcing the reader to look beyond the text on the page, as it is in
Teaching children to understand this can be difficult as it is an abstract concept. You can start by reinforcing the commonalities of physical objects, causing the children to see a uniting theme between different items. This can be applied when recalling the story as they search for the theme or message of the piece.
Some common themes and ways to identify them are:
- Acceptance - Characters respect and accept others who are different
- Courage - Characters overcome fear
- Compassion - Characters try to placate those who are suffering
- Honesty - Characters discover that telling the truth is best
- Kindness - Characters are generous and considerate of others
Reading stories with the children, followed by a question and answer period is the best way to reinforce this concept. Above, Education.com has provided many stories with themes and morals, along with questions that may help steer the students towards finding and understanding the moral of the stories so they can start to identify them on their own.
Teaching students to identify hidden meanings and reading between the lines helps them understand more complex story structures later in their education.