This set of differentiated theme activities (part of mySoldier's Heart Novel Unit
) guides students in determining theme in Gary Paulsen's Civil War novel Soldier's Heart.
The first page is a theme graphic organizer where students will find textual evidence in the novel (quotes, plot events, etc.) for each of two themes. The worksheet provides two themes ("War is a serious thing" and "It's not good to grow up too fast"), but I've also included a blank copy of the graphic organizer to challenge students who are able to determine theme themselves.
The next activity guides students as they write a paragraph about the theme, discussing the three supporting details they found on the first worksheet. For more advanced writers, or just as a next-level writing lesson, there are essay-writing pages designed for students to write more extensively about theme in literature. I've included guidance on writing a hook, thesis/topic sentence, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion.
You can choose the activity that best fits your class's needs, or you can differentiate within your classroom by grouping students and then assigning different levels of work to teach how to determine theme. Alternately, you could begin with the paragraph and lead students into the essay.
I hope you and your students enjoy this tiered-instruction activity integrating literature and reading skills with writing and history!
This resource is part of my Soldier's Heart Novel Unit Bundle!