Another great way to engage your students, is through the creation of storyboards that examine Tone, Word Choice, Imagery, Style, and Theme. This activity is referred to with the acronym “TWIST”. In a TWIST, students focus on a particular paragraph or few pages, to look deeper at the author’s meaning.
Using the first paragraph of “The Scarlet Ibis”, students can depict, explain, and foreshadow what will happen in the story, while getting a good idea of the author's voice.
It was in the clove of seasons; summer was dead, but autumn had not yet been born, that the ibis lit in the bleeding tree. The flower garden was strained with rotting brown magnolia petals and ironweeds grew rank amid the purple phlox. The five o'clocks by the chimney still marked time, but the oriole nest in the elm was untenanted and rocked back and forth like an empty cradle. The last graveyard flowers were blooming, and their smell drifted across the cotton field and through every room of our house, speaking softly the names of our dead.
|Grief: Memories of those who have died, perhaps a child.|
|dead, not born, bleeding, stained, rotting, brown, ironweeds, rank, untenanted, empty cradle, graveyard, drifted, dead|
|“…the oriole nest in the elm was untenanted and rocked back and forth like an empty cradle.” This image of an empty nest, suggests a missing child.|
|The author uses foreshadowing in the following lines: “summer was dead, but autumn was not yet born”; “…last graveyard flowers were blooming”; “speaking softly the names of our dead”.|
|The narrator speaks in a past tense, using words and imagery that sound like the theme could be the passing or memory of a loved one.|
(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 Scarlet Ibis". Remember that TWIST stands for Tone, Word Choice, Imagery, Style, Theme.
Grade Level 6-12
Difficulty Level 4 (Difficult / Complex)
Type of Assignment Individual, Partner, or Group
Type of Activity: Prose Analysis with TWISTCommon Core Standards
(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.