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.