The Bronze Bow Lesson Plan

Instructor: Bethany Calderwood

Bethany has taught special education in grades PK-5 and has a master's degree in special education.

This lesson plan explores the characters, themes and symbolism found in Elizabeth George Speare's ''The Bronze Bow.'' The lesson plan includes individual and group work, a presentation, and a writing project.

Lesson Objectives

As a result of this lesson, the students will be able to:

  • define symbolism and identify the use of symbolism in The Bronze Bow.
  • describe the point of view of different characters in the story using textual evidence.
  • write an argument presenting the theme of The Bronze Bow and agreeing or disagreeing using reasons and relevant evidence.


  • Excluding the reading of the book, this lesson will take about an hour. The writing project might spill over into a second day of class.

Curriculum Standards


Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text; provide an objective summary of the text.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of rhymes and other repetitions of sounds (e.g., alliteration) on a specific verse or stanza of a poem or section of a story or drama.


Analyze how an author develops and contrasts the points of view of different characters or narrators in a text.


Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.

Vocabulary and Phrases

  • Theme
  • Point of view
  • Symbolism


Lesson and Activities

  • This lesson is intended for use after the students have read The Bronze Bow by Elizabeth George Speare.
  • As an activator, invite students to free write for 5-10 minutes using this prompt: What characters, events, or setting in The Bronze Bow did you find to be most interesting, disturbing, surprising, or confusing?
  • After the allotted time, students share their writing with a partner. A few volunteers could share with the whole class.
  • Distribute copies of the lesson The Bronze Bow: Summary & Analysis. As a class, read this lesson to review the book together.
  • Check for understanding using the worksheet that accompanies the lesson.

Discussion Questions

  • With which character in The Bronze Bow do you identify most strongly? Why?
  • When Daniel made the choice to rescue Joel, two of his other friends died in the attempt. Would you have made the same choice, given the information Daniel had? What if you knew what the result would be?
  • What do you think about the conclusion of the lesson - ''Jesus helps Daniel realize that love is stronger than hate''?
  • Were Rosh, Daniel and the other zealots justified in their treatment of the villagers - stealing to support the band because they claimed that they would eventually free the villagers from Rome?

Symbolism in The Bronze Bow

  • Review the term symbolism.
  • In pairs or small groups, students brainstorm a list of symbols they have encountered - mascots, coats of arms, etc.
  • Identify the part of the lesson The Bronze Bow: Summary & Analysis that talk about the symbolism in the book.
  • In pairs or small groups, have students locate passages in the book that talk about the use of the bronze bow as a symbol by Daniel, Joel and Thacia. After a few minutes, ask groups to share the location of the passages they found, and read some of the passages aloud.

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