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Broken down into the cognitive steps, students can determine theme with the support of modeling and collaboration. This video shows the strategy for introducing the concept (even though kids in 8th grade were exposed WHAT theme is in prior years, I never assume they were taught HOW to figure it out). After doing this strategy with passing the paper and creating multiple themes, it is simply a matter of reminding students throughout the school year that in order to determine theme you just need to follow these basic steps.