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Activity Overview


Themes, symbols, and motifs come alive when you use a storyboard. In this activity, students will identify objects that are important symbols for the characters or bigger ideas, and support their choices with details from the text.

The example below uses the Persephone Abduction myth, but many Greek myths that attempt to explain something have important symbols.


Symbols to Look For and Discuss in the Myth of Hades and Persephone

Pomegranate

The pomegranate is a symbol for life and abundance, but also for death. The many seeds show the capability of new life & new growth. However, the pomegranate seems to bleed if it is cut, and it is the one thing that ties Persephone to the world of the dead.


Winter

Winter represents the time that Persephone spends in the Underworld. The living world seems suspended because the plants "die", the weather becomes harsh, and the days are shorter and darker.


Spring

Spring is Persephone's time. She returns from the Underworld and is reunited with her mother. Days become longer and warmer, plants come alive, and animals become active.


Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-12

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual, Partner, or Group

Type of Activity: Themes, Symbols & Motifs

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/3] Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme


Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)



Student Instructions

Create a storyboard depicting important symbols in the story of Persephone.

  1. Use the template provided by your teacher.
  2. Identify important symbols in the story.
  3. Describe how the symbols are important to the story.
  4. Illustrate each example with appropriate images, scenes, characters, and items.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.


Rubric

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



Symbolism
Create a storyboard that identifies important symbols in the story. Illustrate each symbol and write a short description that explains the significance to the story.
Proficient Emerging Beginning Needs Improvement
Identification of Symbols
All symbols are correctly identified as objects that represent something else at a higher level in the story.
Most symbols are correctly identified, but some objects are missing or incomplete.
Most symbols are missing, incomplete, or incorrect.
No symbols are correctly identified.
Examples and Descriptions
Quotes and examples are accurate to the symbols that are being identified. Descriptions accurately explain the symbols and highlight their significance to the story.
Most quotes and examples are accurate to the symbols that are being identified. Descriptions mostly accurately explain the symbols, and highlight their significance to the story.
Most quotes and examples are minimal, incorrect, or unrelated to the symbols that are being identified. Descriptions contain inaccuracies in their explanations, or do not highlight their significance to the story.
Examples and descriptions are missing or too minimal to score.
Depiction
Depictions chosen for symbols are accurate to the story and reflect time, effort, thought, and care with regard to placement and creation of the scenes.
Depictions chosen for symbols are mostly accurate to the story. They reflect time and effort put into placement and creation of the scenes.
Depictions chosen for symbols are inaccurate to the story. The depictions may be rushed or show minimal effort, time, and care put into placement and creation of the scenes.
Most depictions are missing too many elements or are too minimal to score. Little time or effort has been put into placement and creation of the scenes.
English Conventions
There are no errors in spelling, grammar, or mechanics throughout the storyboard. All writing portions reflect careful proofreading and accuracy to the story.
There are a few errors in spelling, grammar, and mechanics throughout the storyboard. All writing portions show accuracy to the story and some proofreading.
There are several errors in spelling, grammar, and mechanics throughout the storyboard. Most writing portions do not reflect proofreading or accuracy to the story.
Errors in spelling, grammar, and mechanics in writing portions of the storyboard seriously interfere with communication.




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