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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 the themes in The Crossover. Teachers may want to have students illustrate three different themes, or have them choose one theme and illustrate 3 examples of it. For the example, the theme of family is illustrated with three examples.

Examples of Themes in The Crossover


Josh and his brother are very close, and they have a wonderful relationship with their parents. They are always there for each other, cheer each other on, and support each other.


Josh and JB practice basketball constantly. They are both very determined boys. Josh has a very strong work ethic and will stop at nothing to achieve his goal.

Growing Up

Josh and JB encounter many of the struggles that come with growing up including school, girls, social life, competition, and sick parents.


Since the boys are twins, it is even harder for them to see themselves as unique individuals. Josh’s identity has always been his hair, which had to be cut off toward the beginning of the story.

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 The Crossover. Illustrate instances of each theme and write a short description below each cell.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify the themes from The Crossover 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 exit when you're done.


Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 5-6

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/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

The Crossover

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