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 two of the themes in The Night Diary. Teachers may want the students to identify and illustrate two themes, one for each cell, or identify one theme and show two examples of it, one example per cell.

Examples of Themes in The Night Diary


There are many examples of survival throughout the story. One example is when the family went several days walking with very little or no water. Papa was determined to keep his family alive, and they all took care of each other when someone was sick or weak.


Nisha has never met her mother, but she and her family are very close. She and her twin brother, Amil, share an unbreakable bond that only twins can have. Kazi, a close friend and the family’s cook for years, is like family to them, and they are all respectful and loving towards their grandmother, Dadi.

Religious Beliefs

When India was freed from British rule, the religion that one believed in became their identity. The story revolves around the separation of the Hindus, the Muslims, and the Sikhs, and the fact that Nisha’s father is Hindu and her mother was Muslim.

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 Night Diary. 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 Night Diary 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 submit storyboard.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 4-6

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/4/2] Determine a theme of a story, drama, or poem from details in the text; summarize the text.
  • [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 Night Diary

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