Theme Book Selections for Grades 1 - 8

Nine cross-curricular themes serve as the overriding framework for Pathways. Each theme centers on the theme book. While the same nine themes occur at every grade level, specific theme content changes to reflect the developmental and interest levels of the students. Spiritual lessons are drawn from each theme which relate to the student’s own spiritual journey.

The tables found at the link below list theme book selections for Grades 1 through 8.  An explanation of themes and content areas follows.


Printable Version:

Theme Book Literature Selections Grades 1-8



Content Area: Literature Development

As students move from one stage of development to the next, the literature stresses heroes who overcome insurmountable odds. Stories include all types of heroes facing challenges ranging from the physical, to defending beliefs, to social injustices. Students are led to recognize God’s power and love in these stories as well as in their own lives.

My World and Others

Content Area: Geography

Students learn how people live in different cultures and political settings. They gain insight from both a historical and contemporary perspective about how people live in different geographical regions and how culture affects human lives. Students will not only celebrate the differences among cultures but also the many similarities that make up God’s family.

Living Things

Content Area: Science

Students learn about God’s creation through literature. Each level has a specific life science focus. Knowledge about the animal world is gained through informational reading as well as stories. Through the study of “God’s Second Book”, students are brought to a closer relationship with Him.

Spiritual Journey

Content Area: Adventist Heritage

This theme encourages students to grow spiritually and foster a personal relationship with Jesus by seeking His plan for their lives. The many Christ-like attributes described in the stories will exemplify what being a Christian truly means. Included are stories of how God has led our church from a handful of youth with zeal to know His will, to a world-wide church with a membership of over a million people. Also included are stories of how God leads in the affairs of those who trust His guidance.

Friends and Family

Content Area: Social Science

This theme includes literature about interrelationships among family members and friends. In the early grades, students explore roles and relationships within families. In the middle and upper grades, the content broadens to interpersonal relationships with friends and struggles with peer-and self-acceptance. Also emphasized is God’s unconditional love for us even when human relationships are disappointing.


Content Area: Science

Selections in this theme stress the interrelationship between people and their environment. The literature deals with the survival of people in nature and the exploration of God’s world. Students also study ways to appreciate and protect the environment. Seventh-day Adventists believe in a coming earth made new, however, as good stewards commissioned in the Garden of Eden; we still have a responsibility to care for God’s creation.

Personal Feelings and Growth

Content Area: Health and Guidance

The literature for this theme stresses personal issues and struggles as students move from one stage of development to another. The early literature focuses on student’s growing knowledge of themselves and their own potential. The literature for the middle and upper grades explores an individual’s personal feelings and growth, change, peer pressure, and family relationships. Students experience a character’s feelings of sadness, loss, anger, happiness, and life. Character development is essential to the spiritual journey.


Content Area: History

Students explore history through literature. In the early grades, students investigate personal, local, and colonial history. In the middle grades, the literature focuses on early pioneer life. Upper grade students explore some of the major conflicts and cultural events in American and world history. Students are led to see God’s hand in the affairs of men.

Social Issues and Culture

Content Area: Social Science/Current Events

Readers explore relationships among different groups over issues of prejudice, physical and mental handicaps, cultural differences, immigration, poverty, hunger, and relationships between old and young people. They experience how characters learn to accept others with special needs, and people from different cultural backgrounds. Students are made aware of man’s need for God.