Children at birthday party with cake and balloons
Read the stories about birthday parties before answering the questions.

Grade 4 Reading Literature - Themes

This English Language quiz is called 'Themes' and it has been written by teachers to help you if you are studying the subject at elementary school. Playing educational quizzes is an enjoyable way to learn if you are in the 3rd, 4th or 5th grade - aged 8 to 11.

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Short stories contain a theme for students to learn the message that the author is trying to get across. Themes can also be found in dramas and poems. The students must learn to use the details from the text to determine the theme of it. Once that is done, the student can summarize the text. In this quiz, the students will be able to determine the theme of a story, answer questions about the details, and summarize the text.

Story 1 - Timmy's Big Mouth

Timmy was a kind and considerate boy about 9 years old. He was known for doing a lot of good things, but he was also known as being very talkative. Timmy always talked. No one could get a word in when they were in a conversation with Timmy. Most of the time, people would avoid Timmy so that he would not talk to them and keep them from what they were about to do.

One day, Timmy was in class. It was the teacher's birthday. She did not know that the students were preparing a surprise birthday party for her. As usual, Timmy was talking away in class. Without thinking, he would just talk about anything he could think of. Timmy then raised his hand.

"Yes, Timmy?" Ms. Stewart asked.

"I am responsible for decorating the classroom for your birthday party!" Timmy said.

"What?" Ms. Stewart asked in a confused way.

"Timmy!!!" Everyone in class cried out at the same time. All of a sudden, Timmy realized what he had done, but it was too late. Ms Stewart knew about the party. From then on, whenever they were throwing a surprise birthday party for someone, the secret was kept from the birthday person and from Timmy.

Story 2 - Birthday Girl

Sylvia's birthday was coming up. Her parents spent lots of money on Sylvia especially for her birthday and holidays. For this birthday, they decided to buy Sylvia the most expensive doll in the store. They also bought her a pony even though they did not have a pasture for the horse to run in.

On the day of her birthday, Sylvia tore open the presents from her friends and family. Once she saw the present, she tossed it aside without even showing her appreciation to the friend who gave her the present. Present after present, Sylvia conducted herself in the same way until the presents were all unwrapped. Then with an angry face, Sylvia stood up and put her hands on her hips. "Why didn't anyone buy me the remote-control car that is so popular today? That is what I wanted," Sylvia yelled at everyone in the room. Sylvia's parents were very embarrassed and didn't know what to say. They simply looked at the group of friends and family members who were at the party. "Everyone please take back your presents and play with them or give them to your children," Sylvia's parents told the crowd. Then they turned to Sylvia. "You Sylvia, will not be given any presents today on your birthday," Sylvia's parents said. Sylvia burst into tears and ran off crying.

Read Story 1 - Timmy's Big Mouth above.
How do students react when they hear Timmy coming?
They tell him not to talk.
They turn around to face him.
They run right up to Timmy.
They avoid him.
When Timmy is approaching, the students avoid him.
Read Story 1 - Timmy's Big Mouth above.
What does Timmy do in class?
Timmy asks his teacher when her birthday is.
Timmy tells the teacher happy birthday.
Timmy reveals the surprise.
Timmy tells the class it is his birthday.
When the teacher calls on Timmy, he tells her what he is doing for her surprise birthday party.
Read Story 1 - Timmy's Big Mouth above.
How do the students react after Timmy talks to the teacher?
Yell at him in an angry way.
Ask him a question.
Leave the room.
The students in the class yell his name because they are angry.
Read Story 1 - Timmy's Big Mouth above.
What is the theme of the story?
Think before you speak.
It is better to do things right the first time.
It is better to share.
Never give up.
In this story, the theme is to think first.
Read Story 1 - Timmy's Big Mouth above.
Which of the following is a good summary of the story?
A boy talks all the time. Otherwise, he is a nice boy at the age of 9 years old. However, when he walks down the hallway, the students stay away from him.
A boy talks all the time. He and his classmates are planning a surprise birthday party for his teacher. He reveals the secret to his teacher in front of the class.
The class got mad at talkative Timmy and yell at him. Even though Timmy was sorry for what he had done, the students were still mad at him.
Ms. Stewart has a birthday coming up. Her students are planning a party for her. Even though she is not supposed to know, she already does.
This summary includes the main points of the story.
Read Story 2 - Birthday Girl above.
What does Sylvia's parents think she wants for her birthday?
An expensive doll.
A puppy.
A remote-control car.
Even though they are wrong, they get her an expensive doll and a pony.
Read Story 2 - Birthday Girl above.
How does Sylvia react to opening her presents?
She is confused.
She is rude.
She is quiet.
She is appreciative.
Sylvia acts rude because she tosses the presents aside.
Read Story 2 - Birthday Girl above.
What are Sylvia's parents embarrassed about?
Sylvia's thoughts.
Sylvia's appearance.
Sylvia's grades and behavior at school.
Sylvia's words and actions.
Sylvia speaks rudely and her actions are rude too.
Read Story 2 - Birthday Girl above.
What is the theme of the story?
Work hard and play hard.
Be appreciative of what you have.
Two heads are better than one.
Have a back-up plan.
Sylvia should be appreciative of the presents she received from her family and friends.
Read Story 2 - Birthday Girl above.
Which is a good summary for the story?
Sylvia received presents at her party. She got angry that she did not get the present she wanted. Since her parents were embarrassed, they decided not to give Sylvia any presents.
Sylvia tossed her presents aside every time she opened a present. These presents came from her friends and family at her birthday party.
Sylvia got angry and put her hands on her hips. She looked at everyone in the room at her party and yelled at them. She told them which present she wanted.
Sylvia's parents decided to not give her any presents for her birthday. They asked the people at the party to take their presents back. They should give them to someone else.
The summary should include the main idea and details from the story.
Author:  Amy Flanders

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