Themes, Symbols, or Motifs in "The Raven"

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


The Raven Symbolism

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 rich symbolism that Poe uses throughout "The Raven".


Symbols to Look for and Discuss

The Raven

Typically ravens represent bad luck, and even death. In Greek mythology, ravens are seen as messengers. Perhaps this is why the speaker believes that it has come with a message from Lenore.


The Bust of Pallas

This refers to Athena, the goddess of wisdom and enlightenment. The statue shows that the narrator is a scholar. Hence his pondering of old texts.


Lenore

The name is possibly related to "Eleanor" or "Helen", deriving from the Greek for "light". This would imply she was the light of the narrator's life, and without her, there is darkness.



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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that identifies recurring themes or symbols in "The Raven". Illustrate instances of each theme and write a short description below each cell.


  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify the theme(s) or symbol(s) from "The Raven" you wish to include and replace the "Theme 1" text.
  3. Create an image for examples that represent each.
  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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