Same Theme, Different Story Using Fox by Margaret Wild

5th - 7th

Middle schoolers work with themes in this instructional activity, which is based on Fox by Margaret Wild. Because the book has multiple themes, it is a great way to transition into exploring literary analysis and writing stories. A Six Trait writing activity takes them through the writing process, and an attached link allows them to post their work online (if desired).

Resource Details

Instructional Design
Project-Based Learning
45 mins

Express Yourself Lesson Seed 15: Theme

Build understanding of theme with an activity designed for The Cay and the Common Core. Small groups or pairs use graphic organizers to determine themes, find and record related details from the text, and formulate theme statements. In addition to this work with theme, the resource includes a writing assignment paired with a second graphic ogranzier. Find out if your kids think that The Cay should be read by sixth graders and why.

Identifying the Theme in a Story

Students recognize Theme through the use of simple, short stories. Using Pro Quest, students begin by researching the literary element, theme, and how it can be identified. They then identify the themes in Aesop's Fables and other short stories that have obvious themes.  Studnets are also given a list of themes commonly found in middle school texts.

The Call of the Wild: Symbols and Metaphors

Take a close look at a specific passage in The Call of the Wild about the song of the huskies and discuss how this passage is related to metaphor and theme. Stay on the topic of metaphor and symbolism with a brief writing assignment. The instructional activity includes prompts for both the discussion and the writing assignment, as well as a homework assignment to keep your class moving along with the novel. Find the referenced handout in the materials tab.

The Call of the Wild: Jack London's Writing Style

Expand your pupils' understanding of the book The Call of the Wild by Jack London by looking at his style and artistic vision. Class members examine the text and find instances of naturalism, eventually discussing a quote by London about the book. Next, they respond to a quote from the book in writing, keeping the author's style in mind. See the materials tab for the handout referenced at the beginning of the lesson plan.

Seeing Themes in Young Adult Literature

Seventh graders examine the themes that recur in young adult literature. They will complete a pre-assessment that shows their knowledge of theme in contemporary television, movies, and books. They then learn the associated vocabulary and read literature from an assigned list to develop their understanding of theme. In the end, they will take a post-assessment.

The Call of the Wild: Themes of the Novel

Jack London includes a great deal about the relationship between nature and civilization in his book The Call of the Wild. Ask your class members to examine this theme through discussion and writing. The resource includes quotes to focus on and questions to answer as your class moves through an exploration of theme in the novel.

The Study of Theme and Figurative Language in Poetry and/or Prose

Identify and analyze the use of figurative language used in select pieces of writing. These pieces of literature will represent at least two pieces by one writer and at least two pieces by different writers. This instructional activity would be a great way to reinforce citing textual evidence to demonstrate understanding.

Writing in a Foreign Language

It seems that this presentation was designed for future educators, particularly those teaching a foreign language. Basic reading, writing, and organizational skills are presented, encouraging a discussion of strategies amongst your viewers. Unfortunately, you cannot skip slides or start the presentation at any point besides the beginning, so you'll have to watch the 95-slide presentation in its entirety. 

Recurring Themes - the Lives of Nanavi and Neeraj

Students analyze recurring themes. In this recurring themes lesson, students discuss the theme of a text using Dr. Seuss texts. Students complete a finding a recurring theme worksheet and use the worksheet of Nanavi and Neeraj to practice the skills. students watch a related video and list the themes as a class.

Precise Writing

How do you throw a ball? How do you make a peanut butter sandwich? How do you draw a Tyrannosaurus Rex? Pairs of learners write directions for a simple activity and partners follow the directions exactly. A fun way to encourage writers to craft precise, exact, and complete directions.

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