Symbolism can be difficult to teach and difficult to understand-- especially for ELL and students with special needs, but it doesn't have to be. Start with this before tackling symbolism in complex texts for Common Core.
Introduce symbols and make them easy to understand by connecting to what students already know. Students look at symbols they are familiar with and explain what they represent and why using a sentence frame. The symbols are common, like french fries and a dollar sign, to make the concept easier to understand. There are 14 examples provided.
I've given this as homework to my middle school ESL class, used it as a discussion guide for SPED students, and even made it a game where the most creative answer won for an advanced class.
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