Finding Theme Webquest by Mrs. Bibbs

Introduction

Image result for tv images

Today you are working as a head writer for TV show. You've been chosen by the producer to find and explain THEME to all those that need help on the job. The producer is also wanting YOU to write a new story and needs your help in gathering ideas to match a theme he has brainstormed.  He needs your help in creating a plot diagram to match his theme.

You're going to read several stories and work to determine the theme. Then you are going to choose one of four themes and write a plot diagram to match it.

Before you begin, you need to make sure you know what theme is.

*   Theme is the message about life the author is wanting to reveal to the reader.    

For example, in "The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf", the theme is "Don't lie."   The little boy lies about there being a wolf so many times that when a real wolf comes, no one comes to help and all the sheep are killed.  The lesson the boy learns is not to tell a lie.  

You also need to keep in mind what theme is NOT.  

* Theme is NOT one word.  

In other words, Lying is not a theme but a topic.   Theme is also not specific to one story.

* Theme  is NOT a summary.  In "The Little Boy Who Cried Wolf", the theme would not be "A little boy learned not to lie."  

A theme has to be a sentence and has to be able to be applied to any story with a similar plot without having to change any of the words.  

Task

So what are you suppose to do today?

Assignment 1: You  are to read and analyze three stories that your coworkers needs to know the theme of. The producer is very curious about how you will explain and find the theme, so he wants you to write down the three steps that you follow: (For each story)

1. What's the conflict?

2. What's the resolution?

3. What did the character learn?

  

After you answer the three questions, you need to bring all of those answers together to find the theme! (For each story)

Write all your information on 1 sheet of paper.  Make sure to punctuate your story titles correctly and to write the theme in a complete sentence.

  

Assignment 2:  Choose one of the following THEMES about friendship.  Using the characters and setting given, create a story where your chosen theme would fit. Then map that story on a plot diagram.

Theme #1: Friendship is important.

Characters: Two middle school boys

Setting(s): school

Theme #2: Friendship can happen despite differences.

Characters: Two middle school students

Setting(s) : school

Theme #3: Friendship is more important than romance.

Characters: Two middle school girls

Setting(s) : school

Theme #4: True friendship is worth fighting for.

Characters: Two middle school students

Setting(s) : school

Process

Below I have listed the steps you need to take to fully complete each assignment. (You know why? The answer, because like my students I'm awesome!)

Assignment 1 (Read stories and determine the theme of each) ( All answers go on one sheet of notebook paper

Story 1.

1. Read the story "The Miser" by copying and pasting this web address in a new tab: http://www.eastoftheweb.com/short-stories/UBooks/Mis.shtml 

2.Write down what you think the conflict of the story is.

3. Write down what you think the resolution to the conflict is.

4.Write down what you think the character has learned from the conflict and the resolution.

5. Analyze all of those parts then decide what the theme of the story is and write it.

Story 2

1. Read the story "The Banker and the Pauper" by copying and pasting this web address in a new tab:  http://www.kidsgen.com/short_stories/banker_pauper.htm

2.Write down what you think the conflict of the story is.

3. Write down what you think the resolution to the conflict is.

4.Write down what you think the character has learned from the conflict and the resolution.

5. Analyze all of those parts then decide what the theme of the story is and write it.

Story 3

1. Read the story "The Stone Cutter" by copying and pasting this web address in a new tab: http://www.kidsgen.com/short_stories/stone_cutter.htm

2.Write down what you think the conflict of the story is.

3. Write down what you think the resolution to the conflict is.

4.Write down what you think the character has learned from the conflict and the resolution.

5. Analyze all of those parts then decide what the theme of the story is and write it.

Assignment 2 ( Pick a theme with given characters and setting, then compose a story that relays that theme.)

In a google doc type and answer the questions below.

Which theme did you pick?

Who are the characters given for this theme?

What is the setting given for this theme?

Type and fill in the plot outline below: (You are making the story.) (To see your options 1-4 again look under the task tab)

1. (Exposition)

 

 2. (Conflict)

 

 

 3. (Resolution)

Evaluation

Assignment 1

Story 1 (10 points for 1-5) (It's all or nothing so double check your work.)

Story 2 (10 points for 1-5) (It's all or nothing so double check your work.)

Story 3 (10 points for 1-5) (it's all or nothing so double check your work)

Assignment 2

Telling the chosen theme, characters, and setting (1 points)

Filling in the Exposition (3 points)

Filling in the conflict (3 points)

Filling in the Resolution (3 points)

Typing the the story (10 points)

Conclusion

Now that you have finished your assignment, I'm sure that you and your coworkers have a better understanding of theme and the process behind finding it! Please, for your producers benefit though, write one thing about today's work that you enjoyed at the bottom of your google doc.

Thanks!

Credits

This webquest was adapted from a similar one found at http://zunal.com/webquest.php?w=87238.

Teacher Page

This WebQuest is designed to help students understand theme. I have them run through three stories so that they can really put into practice the steps involved in finding the theme of a story. Then, for extension, I have them work backwards to create a plot to match an universal theme.  This activity aligns with Common Core Standards.