A theme is a central idea, subject, or message in a story. Many stories have more than one important theme. For this activity, students will identify and illustrate the themes in A Long Walk to Water.
All of the characters in this novel struggle to survive without the basic need of clean water. Other aspects that impact the characters’ survival are food, war, sickness, and heat.
It is clear that family and community are the most important things to Salva. He experiences an extreme feeling of loss when he cannot find his real family, and when his tribe abandons him. The thought of possibly reuniting with his family motivates Salva to never give up.
Salva makes a few friends along his journey, and his ties to them are as important to him as his family.
The obstacles that Salva faces are simply unimaginable: starvation, thirst, loneliness, endless walking, crocodiles, and so much more. It is unbelievable that he never gave up and never turned back, even when he truly wanted to at times.
This novel shows us just how horribly war affects society. Because of war, Salva had to flee his country and live for years on the run. The war in Sudan was so terrible, that women and children were being killed for no reason, and no one was safe from danger.
Grade Level 5-6
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual
Type of Activity: Themes, Symbols & MotifsCommon Core Standards
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Objective: Create a storyboard that identifies recurring themes in A Long Walk to Water. Illustrate instances of each theme and write a short description below each cell.
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