My students struggle with identifying theme in a story and supporting their point of view with evidence from the text. As a seventh grade teacher, I pay close attention to what my students will be expected to produce in 8th grade. One of their future assignments is a theme paper with arguments backed up with quotes as evidence.
This is a tool I use in the fall to introduce my students to a more in depth analysis of theme. It is my way of scaffolding for the future. I scaffold by offering some theme options and providing students with a detailed graphic organizer so that they can go step by step. Students do not produce an essay with this assignment, but it allows me an opportunity to see who understands the concept and who may need additional support.
There is no rubric because answers will vary. I would grade this on the basis of completion, but would also check to make sure students cited quotes correctly, explained them with well thought out answers and used correct capitalization, punctuation, and spelling. Students would be told this in advance and provided with a checklist to review before turning it in. The checklist is included at the end of the assignment. Two fit per page for purposes of saving paper.
Each response would be worth 2 points and I would give 1 point for each page notation. I would also include 6 points total for the category of punctuation, spelling, and grammar. Every two errors would reduce a student’s grade by 1 point.
I would consider this a classwork grade because they would complete it in class while I am available to answer questions. In my classroom, classwork goes into the category of reading response and counts as 30% of their final grade.
The story is not provided here because of copyright issues. This tale is included in my students’ textbook by Prentice Hall. However, you can find the story at: http://www.btboces.org/Downloads/4_The%20Third%20Wish%20by%20Joan%20Aiken.pdf
Scaffolding: Third Wish Theme Graphic Organizer by Susan Peckworth is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Scaffolding: Third Wish Theme Graphic Organizer
by Susan Peckworth
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License