Another great way to engage your students is through the creation of storyboards that asks your students to find Tone, Word Choice, Imagery, Style, and Theme. This activity is called a TWIST (an acronym for the above literary elements). In a TWIST students focus on a particular paragraph or few pages to look deeper at the author’s true meaning.
Using any paragraph of “The Birthmark”, students can examine, depict, explain, and foreshadow what will happen in the story while getting a good idea of the tone of the story.
The crimson hand expressed the ineludible gripe in which mortality clutches the highest and purest of 6 earthly mould, degrading them into kindred with the lowest, and even with the very brutes, like whom their visible frames return to dust. In this manner, selecting it as the symbol of his wife's liability to sin, sorrow, decay, and death, Aylmer's sombre imagination was not long in rendering the birthmark a frightful object, causing him more trouble and horror than ever Georgiana's beauty, whether of soul or sense, had given him delight.
|Disgusted: Aylmer has a grotesque fascination with Georgiana’s birthmark. Instead of seeing it as a mark of uniqueness, he sees it as an imperfection.|
|Degregating, ineludible, sin, sorrow, death, decay, sombre, frightening, trouble, horror|
|“The crimson hand expressed the ineludible gripe in which mortality clutches the highest and purest of 6 earthly mould...” The sight of the birthmark reminds Aylmer of Georgiana’s near perfection.|
|The narrator uses particular imagery and word choice in his description to illustrate Aylmer’s disdain and disappointment in Georgiana’s lack of perfection.|
|Since Hawthorne was a Puritan writer it is important for the reader to look at the morals and theme that Hawthorne as a Christian was trying to express. A possible interpretation for this short passage is that man is flawed and sinful. The lack of perfection he sees in Georgiana is in fact the imperfection in man.|
(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)
Perform a TWIST analysis of a selection from “The Birthmark”. Remember that TWIST stands for Tone, Word Choice, Imagery, Style, Theme.
Grade Level 9-12
Difficulty Level 4 (Difficult / Complex)
Type of Assignment Individual, Partner, or Group
Type of Activity: Prose Analysis with TWISTCommon Core Standards
(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)
| Proficient |
| Emerging |
| Beginning |
| Try Again |
Each aspect of TWIST is analyzed thoroughly and thoughtfully. The tone(s) is/are correctly identified and explained and are supported by evidence. The word choice uses a healthy sample of words from the excerpt that are loaded with connotation, associations, or emotional impact. The chosen imagery highlights sense impressions created by the writer and indicates the author's attitude or evokes a particular reaction from the reader. The author's style is discussed in terms of figurative language, point of view, literary techniques, punctuation, etc. The theme identified highlights the meaning of the passage and offers insight, and it is supported by evidence from the text.
Most of the aspects of TWIST are analyzed thoroughly and thoughtfully. In discussing the aspects, the student may have forgotten key evidence, or they may be unclear in their analysis. The student shows a basic understanding of each of the parts of the acronym, but may not apply them fully to the selected passage.
Most aspects of TWIST are provided with basic evidence and quotes from the passage. The student may be able to identify the elements correctly, but not be able to explain them completely or reveal insight. The discussion is rudimentary and/or may seem rushed.
Some aspects of TWIST are missing or too limited to score, or most of the aspects of TWIST are incorrect. The student makes no attempt to reveal insight in his or her analysis.
The depictions of each aspect of TWIST are accurate to the passage, or provide an interesting, creative, or insightful visual interpretation of the element in the passage. It is evident that the student spent a lot of time, creativity, and effort into carefully crafting each artistic depiction.
Most of the depictions of each aspect of TWIST are accurate to the passage, or provide an interesting, creative, or insightful visual interpretation of the element in the passage. It is evident that the student stayed on task and put time and effort into crafting each artistic depiction.
Most of the depictions of each aspect of TWIST are accurate to the passage, but they are minimal. There may be some inaccuracies or evidence that the student strayed from the task at hand. The student may not have paid much attention to detail in crafting each depiction, and there may be evidence of rushing or limited effort.
Some of the depictions of each aspect of TWIST are inaccurate, missing, or too limited to score. It is evident that the student did not put a lot of time, effort, and creativity into crafting each artistic depiction.
Ideas are organized. Displays control of grammar, usage, and mechanics. Shows careful proofreading.
Ideas are organized. Contains few errors in grammar, usage and mechanics. Shows some proofreading.
Ideas are organized. Contains errors in grammar, usage and mechanics which interfere with communication. Shows a lack of proofreading.
Contains too many errors in grammar, usage and mechanics; (and/or) errors seriously interfere with communication. Shows a lack of proofreading.