The 5 R’s of theme development

think theme

Think theme. When was the last time you saw a reel of film? Most theaters use digital projectors and movies are distributed to them on magnetic hard drives. (Teachers gave up film decades ago.)

What time is it? Chances are you won’t look at a watch. The clock on your cell phone has been doing the job your watch used to do. For telling time, sundials have obvious disadvantages; they can’t be used indoors, at night, or on cloudy days. Hour glasses? Let’s not go there.

5 Rs of Theme Development

A theme has to be RELEVANT and RECOGNIZABLE and connected to something present in students’ lives.

The theme concept also has to be REALISTIC, honestly telling it like it is. A “We’re #1” foam finger used as a theme may cover the ups, but doesn’t record the downs of the year.

Is homecoming always the same? Does the play always go on without a hitch? Because no year is like another, every yearbook needs to REFRESH the content. The theme offers opportunities to nuance perspectives of the events and activities of the year.

Finally, REPETITION and variation of the theme word or phrase establishes continuity. By spinning off key words and concepts, students are reminded of the prevailing angle from which the stories of the year are told.

See our Balfour Square handout showcasing The 5 R’s of Theme Development.