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 two of the themes in A Mango-Shaped Space. Teachers may want the students to identify and illustrate two themes, one for each cell, or identify one theme and show two examples of it, one example per cell.
The characters in this story all have their own uniqueness. When Mia is called a freak in third grade, she keeps her true self a secret. When Mia decides to take her condition hear on and embrace it, the readers see her truly becoming herself.
Mia and her siblings are very different and all are quite quirky, but Mia quickly realizes that they all have each other’s backs when needed.
One example of this theme is when Mia tells Jenna about seeing colors. Jenna is hurt because her best friend kept a huge secret from her, and Mia realizes that it’s best to be honest and upfront.
Throughout the story, readers learn that Mia has lost both of her grandparents, and that she misses her grandfather a great deal. Jenna’s mom has also passed away, and Mia deals with the loss of her beloved cat, Mango.
Mia and Jenna have an unbreakable bond. They have some arguments throughout the story, but they always make up. Mia learns that not everyone is a true friend when Adam, whom she met in the online synesthesia group, doesn’t seem to care much about the loss of Mango.
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Objective: Create a storyboard that identifies recurring themes in A Mango-Shaped Space. Illustrate instances of each theme and write a short description below each cell.
Grade Level 6-8
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual
Type of Activity: Themes, Symbols & MotifsCommon Core Standards
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
All themes are correctly identified as important recurring topics or messages in the story.
Some themes are correctly identified, but others are missing or do not make sense with the story.
No themes are correctly identified.
All examples support the identified themes. Descriptions clearly say why examples are significant.
Most examples fit the identified themes. Descriptions say why examples are significant.
Most examples do not fit the identified themes. Descriptions are unclear.
Storyboard cells clearly show connection with the themes and help with understanding.
Most storyboard cells help to show the themes, but some storyboard cells are difficult to understand.
Storyboard cells do not help in understanding the themes.