Activity Overview

In this activity, students will identify a theme and support the theme with evidence from the text. One theme is "death" and another is "friendship".

Themes to Look For and Discuss


Byron, who is usually a cruel bully, becomes emotional after throwing a cookie at a mourning dove and killing it. Later in the novel, Kenny nearly drowns and sees a “Wool Pooh”, which symbolizes death. Lastly, the church bombing killed four innocent little girls who were attending Sunday school.


Byron and Buphead are great friends, but Buphead is a negative influence on Byron, and they cut school often. Kenny almost loses Rufus as his best friend, but realizes that he needs to stick by his friend, even if it means he gets made fun of. The last example of friendship is between Byron and Kenny. They don’t get along often, but in the end, Byron is the one who consoles Kenny.

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.)

Student Instructions

Create a storyboard depicting themes in The Watsons Go to Birmingham.

  1. Use the template provided by your teacher.
  2. Identify a theme from the novel.
  3. Describe three examples of the theme.
  4. Illustrate each scene with appropriate characters, scenes, and items.
  5. Save often!

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 4-5

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


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Create a storyboard that identifies themes in the story. Illustrate examples of each theme and write a short description below each cell.
Proficient Emerging Beginning
Identify Theme(s)
All themes are correctly identified and described.
Some themes are correctly identified.
No themes are correctly identified.
Examples of Theme(s)
All examples support the identified theme(s).
Most examples fit the identified theme(s).
Most examples do not fit the theme(s).
Illustrate Theme
Images clearly show connection with the theme(s).
Some images help to show the theme.
Images do not help in understanding the theme.

More Storyboard That Activities

The Watsons Go to Birmingham - 1963

*(This will start a 2-Week Free Trial - No Credit Card Needed)
© 2021 - Clever Prototypes, LLC - All rights reserved.