Understanding theme video
Duration: 2 minutes 52 seconds
[2 constables are taking photos of a crime scene]
[Clicking of camera]
Police chief –What have we got here, constables?
Constable 1 – Unidentified theme found loitering in this text here.
Constable 2 – No one saw it come in, no one saw it go out. I'm afraid there's no way of identifying it, chief.
Police chief – Never say never constable! We'll just have to do some serious detective work. What clues do we have?
Constable 1 – Let's see, we've got plot, characters, setting, language.
Police chief – Tell me about the characters.
Constable 2 – We've got three little pigs and a big wolf.
Police chief – Mm-hmm, and the setting?
Constable 2 – A house made of straw, a house made of sticks and a house made of bricks.
Police chief – And the plot?
Constable 1 – The three pigs build a house. The first two rush and build their houses out of straw and sticks. The third pig takes it's time, carries heavy bricks and stacks them carefully into a solid house.
Police chief – Anything else?
Constable 2 – Yes! A wolf comes and blows down the first two pigs' homes, but the third pig's house stays put!
Constable 1 – By gum, I've cracked it! The theme is house building.
Police chief – House building! My dear sweet constable, that's not the theme. That's the topic!
Constable 2 – What's the difference?
Police chief – A topic is what the content is about, while the theme is the message of the text. It invites us to think about our own lives and what we value.
Constable 1 – So what message is the author trying to send us here?
Police chief – Hmm, let's see. We've got a polite wolf and three pigs building houses. Two rush their builds, a third doesn't. That third pig is the only one who's house doesn't get blown down by the wolf. It wins. The other pigs lose.
Police chief – I think we've identified a possible theme!
Constable 2 – We have?
Constable 1 – Things aren't always what they seem, because the nice wolf turns out to be a bad wolf?
Constable 2 – I thought the theme, was be prepared for danger.
Police chief – Yes, it could be either of those, but the theme could also be, taking your time to do something right, pays off!
Constable 1 – Ah chief?
Police chief – Yes constable.
Constable 1 – Now that we've identified a theme, what do we do?
Police chief – We see what it tells us about our lives and if we agree or disagree with it. Does taking time to do things right, payoff?
Constable 1 – Well, to start off with, I was like the first two pigs and rushed to conclusions, and said the theme was house building.
Constable 2 – But now we've done our detective work properly, we've succeeded! Taking our time to do things right, does pay off.
Police chief – Yeah!
End of transcript
English K-10 Syllabus © 2012 Copyright NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) for and on behalf of the Crown in right of the State of New South Wales.
English Textual Concepts and Learning Processes, and Related Syllabus Content © State of New South Wales, Department of Education, 2017 Learning and Teaching Directorate