"The Gift of the Magi" Theme Analysis

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for The Gift of the Magi


Gift of the Magi Theme

Example



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Activity Overview


Themes, symbols, and motifs are valuable aspects of any literary work, and they add richness to stories. Part of the Common Core ELA standards is to introduce and explain these complex concepts. However, abstract ideas are often difficult for students to analyze without assistance. Using a storyboard, students can visually demonstrate their understanding of these concepts, and master analysis of literary elements. For best practices, see our supplementary article with specific lesson plan steps on setting up your classroom and activities to teach themes, symbols, and motifs.

In the classroom, students can track the themes in "The Gift of the Magi". They will analyze the appearance of any themes and illustrate examples from the story.


"The Gift of the Magi" Themes

Love

The theme of the story is that the greatest gift of all is unconditional love. Through the sacrifices Della and Jim make for one another, they prove love is more important than material possessions. As the narrator says: “Of all who give and receive gifts, such as they are wisest.”


Sacrifice

A secondary theme in the story is the sacrifice that both characters make for each other. To make their spouse happy, they each sell their most prized possession to make the other happy. For Jim, it is a family heirloom, his grandfather’s watch, and for Della, it is her long, beautiful hair.



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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that identifies recurring themes in "The Gift of the Magi" . Illustrate instances of each theme and write a short description below each cell.


  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify the theme(s) from "The Gift of the Magi" you wish to include and replace the "Theme 1" text.
  3. Create an image for an example that represents this theme.
  4. Write a description of each of the examples.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.

Template: Theme

Template


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Rubric

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The Gift of the Magi






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