Tag Archives: anchor charts

Theme and Symbolism

We are just wrapping up a study of theme and symbolism. To help students, better understand, I used a Pixar short.

When the students came in, their warm up was to brainstorm questions to ask themselves to help determine the theme or the meaning of symbols. We held a class discussion and created an anchor chart with our tips for each theme and symbol.

Then, we watched La Luna, which has sadly been pulled from YouTube in the past few days. I had hoped to post a link.

After viewing, students discussed the questions on the anchor chart with their partners. Then we discussed as a whole class. Finally, students wrote a response stating the theme and the meaning of the symbol (hats) in the short and validating their responses by citing evidence.

(The next day, we added the answers in blue on the charts as a review.)

Then, we read a vignette from The House on Mango Street, discussed the same questions, and wrote the same response determining theme and the meaning of the symbols and validating responses by citing evidence.


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Filed under Elements of Literature, Lesson Ideas

Point of View Lesson

I have started so many posts to share here, but I haven’t finished them. Ideas have been whipping around inside my head like a tornado. So many new, exciting things to try in my classroom are in that whirlwind, and I know I need to just take it slow and try one thing at a time, but I couldn’t seem to get a grasp on any of them. I’ve had off this week for Fall Break, and the ideas are starting to settle. With the help of some rest, some space, and the advice of a trusted colleague, I’ve found a little clarity and direction. So before embarking on the new, I would like to share a little of the old.

A few weeks ago, I introduced point of view to my students. In 8th grade, we study first person, third person limited, and third person omniscient (though through their independent reading and work in literacy centers, some students have discovered and briefly learned about second person and third person objective). This is mostly a review from 7th grade, so I just spent two mini lessons exploring the concept. Here they are.


For the second mini-lesson, we completed a sort. Students were assigned one color for the cards. They explained their choices to their partners, helped each other, and once I checked their work, they glued them onto their construction paper. They had wonderful discussions!

Once we completed our two mini-lessons, we started spending time analyzing the effect of point of view in a story and exploring which point of view would be best for which genre. Fun conversations and journals!

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Filed under Elements of Literature