Discussing Theme: To Kill a Mockingbird The student will: 1. Define theme and distinguish between examples and non-examples 2. Identify plot points and character quotes that help illuminate theme in TKAM. Step 1Quickwrite:
What is a theme in literature? What are some ways you think you can determine the theme of a novel? Objective 1Define theme
The theme is the authors underlying message about life. (Novels and plays typically have several themes.) Themes usually are not explicitly stated, but are often implied through plot and character.
Objective 1Distinguish between examples and non-examples of theme. What a theme is not: A theme is not a topic. But, topics are helpful theme startersmeaning themes often come from abstract topics.
Examples of abstract topics: Love, Courage, Justice, Racsim. Can you think of theme starters of your own? Love as a theme by itself is too broad; therefore, It is just a topic. What books/movies/plays can you think of that deal with the
topic of love? Love conquers all, even in the face of death. (What famous Shakespearean play could this be a theme for?) A simple formula:
Theme=Topic + lesson learned about the topic from the text If I think, Love is a theme in Romeo and Juliet then I then must ask: What do we learn about love in the play? Check for understanding:
Human dignity and respect is a theme or topic? Dignity and respect are things all human beings deserve would be an example of a theme. Topic=dignity and respect Lesson=all human beings
deserve these things. Objective 2Quote Scavenger Hunt Now, walk around the room and read the quotes from TKAM. On your handout, explain each quote. Then, analyze the quote according to which theme you believe it best reveals. Quotes could possibly relate to several themes,
so be sure to support your explanation with evidence from the text. An example has been done on your paper for you. . Lets Share Share your theme explanations and
analyses with a partner. Now, you and your partner choose one to share with the entire class. Step 3use evidence to illuminate theme in TKAM. Read the common themes from TKAM on the bottom of page 3of your handout. Under each theme, write down a specific
plot point or character action you remember from the book that could be an example of the theme. You may work with a partner on this activity.
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