Themes in The Monsters are Due on Maple Street

This Storyboard That activity is part of the lesson plans for The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street


Monsters on Maple St. 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 that The Monsters are Due on Maple Street uses to teach lessons to the audience and illustrate them.

Themes to Look For and Discuss

Fear/Paranoia

Fear and suspicion can cause normal, peaceful people (neighbors and friends) to turn on one another. Despite having known each other for some time, idiosyncrasies drive them to re-examine how well they know their neighbors.


Mankind as Its Own Worst Enemy

Ever noticed how mankind pulls itself down? This theme is present in this story and throughout history.


Prejudice

When people make prejudgments they are often irreversible. Once a thought is put into someone's mind, it is hard to root out. This is why prejudices are so dangerous. In the residents' search for a scapegoat, suspicion and prejudice lead to dire consequences.


People as Wild Animals

Throughout the story, the author creates metaphors around the people acting like animals. This symbolizes the loss of control humans have once hysteria and paranoia take control. They become no better than animals, living by instinct rather than rationality.



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Template and Class Instructions

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Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that identifies recurring themes in The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street. Illustrate instances of each theme and write a short description below each cell.


  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Identify the theme(s) from The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street 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 the assignment.

Template: Theme

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