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Activity Overview


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 Dragonwings. Teachers may want the students to identify and illustrate 3 themes, one for each cell, or identify one theme, and show three examples of it, one example per cell.


Examples of Themes in Dragonwings

Family

Moon Shadow had never met his father, and when he does, he has an enormous amount of respect for him. Windrider gave up everything for his family by moving to America many years ago, and makes money so they can all have a better life.

Friendship

It is clear that Moon Shadow’s friends are like family in America. The Whitlaws and the Company became very close to Windrider and Moon Shadow, and helped them a great deal in many ways.

Race

As a Chinese immigrant, Moon Shadow experiences many cultural differences. He and the other Tang people endure cruel racism and discrimination from the white people around them, whom they call “demons”. As Moon Shadow meets more kind “demons”, he realizes that not all Americans are bad people.

Dreams

Windrider has a big dream of building and flying his own airplane. Although it takes a long time and a lot of money, he never gives up and achieves his dream.

The Afterlife

Throughout the novel, the characters speak of previous and future lives. They believe in many lives, and honor the dead a great deal.



Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Activity", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)



Due Date:

Objective: Create a storyboard that identifies recurring themes in Dragonwings. Illustrate instances of each theme and write a short description below each cell.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify the themes from Dragonwings you wish to include and write them in the headings.
  3. Create an image for an example that represents this theme using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  4. Write a short description of each of the examples.
  5. Save and exit when you're done.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/6/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/7/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text

Rubric

(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)


Themes
Create a storyboard that identifies recurring themes in the story. Illustrate instances of each and write a short description that explains the example's significance.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Identify Theme(s)
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.
Examples
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.
Depiction
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.





Image Attributions
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