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 two of the themes in New Kid. 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.

Examples of Themes in New Kid

Racial Prejudice

There are many examples of racial prejudice as Jordan navigates through the story. One example is when Ms. Rawle often calls the African American boys by each other’s names without even thinking about who she is talking to. Another example is when Andy tells Jordan that he would like the math teacher, Mr. Garner, because he is also African American.


Jordan and Liam become friends almost instantly, even though they come from two very different worlds. Jordan also becomes close friends with Drew, as they have a lot in common. It doesn’t even occur to Jordan that all three of them should hang out until one day when his gran’pa suggests it.

Social Classism

Most of the students at Riverdale are from very wealthy families. Jordan and Drew, however, are on financial aide and are embarrassed when one of the teachers talks about it in front of everyone.


Andy is a typical bully. He is constantly making fun of anyone who he sees as “different” or “weird”. Andy has some followers, but for the most part, the kids see what he’s really like and don’t let him get to them.

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.)

Due Date:

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

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify the themes from New Kid 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 submit storyboard.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 4-6

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual

Type of Activity: Themes, Symbols & Motifs

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/4/2] Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/5/2] Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text, including how characters in a story or drama respond to challenges or how the speaker in a poem reflects upon a topic; summarize the text.

More Storyboard That Activities

New Kid

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