Activity Overview

Themes, symbols, and motifs come alive when you use a storyboard. The theme provides a moral to the story and is the central idea behind the text. Through analyzing themes, students can delve deeper into the text’s meaning and apply the moral to their own lives. In this activity, students will identify a theme of The Black Stallion and support it with evidence from the text.

Example Themes from The Black Stallion


  1. “If the stallion was alive, he was going to set him free and give him his chance to fight for life.”

  2. “He only knew that he had had his choice of remaining in the water alone or being pulled by the Black. If he was to die, he would rather die with the mighty stallion than alone.”

  3. “The days passed and the boy strove desperately to find food to keep himself alive; he caught only one more fish - it would be impossible for him to depend upon the sea for his living.”


  1. “He put the sugar in the palm of his hand and hesitantly held it out to the stallion.”

  2. “You just have to take us both, Captain! I can’t leave him!”

  3. “Alec took his handkerchief and wrapped it around the Black’s leg to try to stop the bleeding.”

Other possible themes include: determination, kindness, companionship, and love.

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 that identifies recurring themes in The Black Stallion. Illustrate instances of each theme and write a short description below each cell.

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify the theme(s) from The Black Stallion you wish to include and replace the "Theme 1" text.
  3. Create an image for examples that represent this theme.
  4. Write a description of each of the examples.
  5. Save often!

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 4-5

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual or Partner

Type of Activity: Themes, Symbols & Motifs

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RL/4/6] Compare and contrast the point of view from which different stories are narrated, including the difference between first- and third-person narrations.


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

Create a storyboard that identifies themes in the story. Illustrate examples of each theme and write a short description below each cell.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Identify Theme(s)
All themes are correctly identified and described.
Some themes are correctly identified.
No themes are correctly identified.
Examples of Theme(s)
All examples support the identified theme(s).
Most examples fit the identified theme(s).
Most examples do not fit the theme(s).
Illustrate Theme
Images clearly show connection with the theme(s).
Some images help to show the theme.
Images do not help in understanding the theme.

More Storyboard That Activities

The Black Stallion

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