It's not enough to just have students identify symbols while reading. Using these activities, your students will be able to analyze meaning, as well as go more in-depth when discussing both universal and contextual applications of symbols in literature.
Use this after reading any text...short fiction or novel. You could probably use it with a dramatic text, as well. It would also be helpful if you've already discussed theme, as there is a tie-in in the quick write.
Here's what you get:
Suggested Lesson Plans -- I've outlined how I use this in my class. You can spend as much time as you need, but it works in two to three days, which gives the students plenty of time to complete everything well.
Quick Write Template -- Two to a page to save paper, use these as explained in the lesson ideas. This is a lead-in to group discussion, and a great way to assess students' understanding of symbol and theme.
Group Response Template -- Four to a page to save paper, use these as a follow up to the quick write as explained in the lesson ideas. This ensures groups discuss what they wrote, and has them agree on a connection between symbol and theme, and to reflect on the text with a question that can be used for whole class discussion.
Universal Symbol Chart -- This chart covers colors, animals, nature, and seasons. Great to give to students to keep in their binder for the year, or have out at small group tables for use and discussion.
Step One Symbol Chart -- This chart has students list symbols, and cite textual evidence, as well as provide an explanation for their choices.
Step Two Symbol Chart -- This chart requires students be assigned a character to which they align symbols in relation to the categories on the Universal Symbol Chart. This is a higher-level process that will challenge your students to prove relation between character and symbol, and summarize their choices.
I hope you find all of this helpful and useful in your classroom. Use any or all parts of it, and apply the lesson ideas to other discussions in your classes!
Teacher in the Rye