Collaboration Placemats: Discussing Universal Themes
What educators are saying
Help students understand theme: These are perfect for discussions about theme when students are reading different novels. They provide a quick and easy way to guide them through effective group discussions, one that keeps them focused on task.
Students will reflect on how topics such as love, friendship, power, loss, and coming of age relate to their novels; then, they will work together to develop a theme statement that could cover each text.
This resource includes:
✅ A slideshow to introduce the activity
✅ 8.5 x 14" placemats for group discussions (18 Topics)
Start with a slideshow that introduces the activity, then use the placemats to organize student group discussions. Just print off one per group and your students will have clear instructions to guide their work together.
Students will follow the numbered steps on each placemat. Each one asks them to begin with some private reflection, brainstorming or writing. Next, they will share with the whole group. After that, they will work together to create a theme statement that will cover all of the novels. Then, they will either present their ideas to the class or do a written response.
I use these as a skill building activity, rather than for assessment, so there is no rubric included.
NOTE: these placemats are in colour but copy perfectly fine in grey scale.
I have other placemats that focus on characterization, thematic development, non-fiction, poetry and author purpose. You can check those out here.
More resources for teaching theme:
✅ Teaching Theme Mini-Lessons & Activities
✅ Understanding Theme Learning Stations
✅ One-Sliders for Themes & Big Ideas
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