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 Fish in a Tree. 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 three main characters in the story all have their own unique identity. Ally struggles with her learning disability and does not want it to become the only thing that people know her for. Keisha is one of the only African American kids in the class, and Albert is brainy and considered weird by the mean kids.
Ally struggles with her self-esteem throughout most of the novel, while Albert and Keisha seemingly have a great deal of confidence and don’t let things bother them.
The theme of friendship is evident throughout the whole story. One example of the importance of friendship is when Albert fights the bullies who have hurt his friends.
Ally acted out and constantly got into trouble until Mr. Daniels arrived and showed her that he cares and believes in her. She wanted to make him proud and truly respected him. Mr. Daniels saw Ally for who she was and gave her the confidence to succeed in life, and taught her that people learn in many different ways.
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Objective: Create a storyboard that identifies recurring themes in Fish in a Tree. 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.