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Identifying Themes in Literature

Help and practice in identifying the theme in a piece of literature or, in this case, Pixar's animated short films.

Nicole Petraitis

on 4 October 2017

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Transcript of Identifying Themes in Literature

What is Theme?
Underlying lesson that returns throughout the story and makes an insightful statement about human nature, life or the world.
ssage may be major or minor
A problem, relationship, or object might symbolize the theme
It is never directly stated in the work. Readers must figure the theme out through characters, conflict, setting and so forth.
In the following short films you will try to identify the theme represented in each.

On the graphic organizer given:
For each film, write the title, the theme, and 2-3 sentences to support your idea of what the film's theme is.

Work independently first; you will have the opportunity to share.
So, NO TALKING during or immediately after each film.
Film #1: "For The Birds"
What is the theme? Write what you think and 2-3 sentences stating why. Be specific!

(Refer to your "Common Themes" handout for inspiration.)
How do I determine the theme?
Identify the thoughts and feelings of the main character (protagonist)
Are these repeated?
What actions occur because of these thoughts and feelings?
What does the protagonist learn?
How did the protagonist change?
Be aware of any objects that are repeated and how the characters interact with them.
Film #2: "Dug's Special Mission"
Film #3: "Partly Cloudy"
no talking!!
So, what did you think? Talk to your group. Agree on one answer to share with the class.
"For the Birds"
The pitfalls of peer pressure
What goes around comes around
"Dug's Special Mission"
Perseverance pays off
Stay true to your heart

"Partly Cloudy"
The importance of loyalty
Let's put it into practice!
Identify the theme of a popular book or movie that you are familiar with. Make sure to put the title!
Your group will be assigned one of the three short stories we have read.
Work independently to complete the handout
#1s - "T"
#2s - "H"
#3s - "E" (Emotions)
#4s - "M"
Determine a theme or central idea
of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including
how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details
; provide an objective summary of the text.
Common Core Standard:
To identify theme in a variety of short stories and analyze specific evidence to support theme through class discussion and completion of a graphic organizer.
Essential Question:
What is "theme" and how do I identify evidence to support it?
1. When you finish reading a story, ask yourself to sum up the book in a single word. For example, a single word for the story Little Red Riding Hood could be deception. Deception is the subject of the story.

2. Next, stretch that single word into a message: innocence can lead to deception. This is a theme for Little Red Riding Hood.
If you notice that an object does seem to be a strong and meaningful symbol in a book, try to determine any possible deeper meaning of that object.

A bridge represents a crossover or change, doesn't it? If you notice a few bridges, and you notice that your main character is going through a big change, you can be sure that the bridge is being used as a symbol.
Always use examples and quotations from the story to prove that the theme is important.

As long as you have evidence, you're on the right track!
Put your name & today's date at the top of your handout.
October 5, 2017 - Do Now:
Today I will...
So that I can...
I'll know I have it when...
Respond in a well-developed paragraph with details: (use what you learned last class!)
"Little Girl Looking Down at Christmas Party"
~ Norman Rockwell
What message do you think the artist was trying to convey with this painting?
Consider the following:
What does the artwork make you think about?
What emotions does it make you feel? What is the mood?
How is the title significant?
How can you connect this to a real-life experience or to a story we've read?
How do I determine the theme?
What is the significance of the title?
How does the main character change? How is this change brought about?
What emotions do you feel at the end?
What was the mood of the story? (sad, uplifting, etc.)
What message from the story applies to life?
Most important: You must have evidence to support your ideas!
When your group is finished, share your answers and complete your organizer.
Agree on a theme for your story with at least TWO pieces of evidence as support.
Examine the painting. Respond in your journals and be prepared to share with the class!
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