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 literary elements). In a TWIST, students focus on a particular paragraph, or few pages, to look deeper at the author’s meaning.
Using any paragraph or short selection, students can examine, depict, explain, and predict what will happen while getting a good idea of the tone of the story.
“Let that skull alone!” said a gruff voice. Tom lifted up his eyes, and beheld a great black man seated directly opposite him, on the stump of a tree. He was exceedingly surprised, having neither heard nor seen anyone approach; and he was still more perplexed on observing, as well as the gathering gloom would permit, that the stranger was neither Negro nor Indian. It is true he was dressed in a rude half-Indian garb, and had a red belt or sash swathed round his body; but his face was neither black nor copper-color, but swarthy and dingy, and begrimed with soot, as if he had been accustomed to toil among fires and forges. He had a shock of coarse black hair, that stood out from his head in all directions, and bore an ax on his shoulder. He scowled for a moment at Tom with a pair of great red eyes.
|Surprised, Perplexed, Observing: Tom is startled because he is alone in the woods and was not expecting to see anyone, especially someone so uncommon looking.|
|Gruff, Gloom, Not Seen, Black, Stranger, Dingy, Begrimed, Soot, Shock.|
|“...he was dressed in a rude half-Indian garb, and had a red belt or sash swathed round his body; but his face was neither black nor copper-color, but swarthy and dingy...”|
|The narrator uses particular imagery and description to illustrate the stranger to the audience.|
|The narrator speaks of the stranger as an apparition and places a grisly familiarity to the figure who is the devil. Knowing Tom's miserly ways and his encounter with this figure, the reader can infer that Tom will sell his soul to the Devil for wealth.|
(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 Devil and Tom Walker". Remember that TWIST stands for Tone, Word Choice, Imagery, Style, Theme.
Grade Level 9-12
Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)
Type of Assignment Individual or Partner
Type of Activity: Prose Analysis with TWIST
(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.