Get your students up and moving while they practice analyzing theme. These task cards are designed to get students thinking. What you get:
• 10 half-page Task Cards with short vignettes to help students identify different themes.
• Answer sheet and key
• 20 slide presentation that shows each task card plus an additional slide with possible answers. This can be used to correct the task card answers, but also as a powerful class discussion.
• I use these task cards after I teach a mini-unit on theme. Here is a link to the mini-unit that I teach:
• Print out the task cards. I print 3 sets so that I have 30—one for each student.
• Card stock is better but not required. Cards could also be laminated.
• Cut the cards up (they print 2 cards to a sheet)
• Distribute the cards around the room—1 per desk, or on different tables so that students must travel to get the answers to all the cards.
• Give each student an answer sheet and give them instructions. Tell them to read each card, choose the proper answer, and put the answer next to the correct number on their answer sheet. Each task card has a number, so remind them to be careful to match that number on their answer sheet.
• Remind the students to use the formula for finding Theme:
Topic plus author’s feeling about the topic = theme
• I have students work in pairs for this so they can discuss the answers. Then, I place sheets of poster paper around the room with the card number on top. Students write their theme on the appropriate sheet (as well as on their individual answer sheets.)
• After students have finished, show the PowerPoint presentation and have students discuss their answers. I steer them away from themes that sound like commands or are too cliché.
• I have found that this exercise takes 2 class periods.
DETERMINE A THEME OR CENTRAL IDEA OF A TEXT AND ANALYZE ITS DEVELOPMENT OVER THE COURSE OF THE TEXT, INCLUDING ITS RELATIONSHIP TO THE CHARACTERS, SETTING, AND PLOT; PROVIDE AN OBJECTIVE SUMMARY OF THE TEXT.
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