About This Chapter
Standard: 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. (CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RL.7.2)
About This Chapter
As your students grow in their understanding of central ideas and themes in literature they will be able to describe and relate to the content of various literary works. They will develop an understanding of the text beyond simply repeating the words of the author, employing basic analysis to the setting and development of the story. The videos in this chapter discuss:
- Definitions of theme and motif
- Methods for finding themes and central ideas
- How to analyze the development of theme in a text
Students with a highly developed understanding of these topics can engage more deeply with literature, applying the content of a text to the historical and social factors which draw out the underlying purpose and projections of the author. When asked to describe the text, they should be able to articulate the central ideas and theme and how they arrived at that analysis.
How to Use These Lessons in Your Classroom
Use these suggestions to help use these videos in your classroom.
Exploring themes in real life
After watching the videos in this chapter as a class, have students think of a series of events in their own life which are connected by a common theme. Have them journal about the events and what theme(s) may be pulled from them. How might they translate the events into a motif for a fictional story?
Watch the video on analyzing theme development with your students, then read and discuss a well-known story or fable as a class. Have students discuss the story in small groups. How can the story be reduced to its central idea? What did the author do to magnify the elements of the theme through its development?
Have students watch each video as homework during the week. They are short enough to fit into their busy schedules and can be viewed on mobile devices for extra flexibility. Complete the chapter test as a class to gauge understanding and synthesis of core concepts.
1. Themes in Literature: Examples and Explanation
One of the most common things that students are asked to do in middle school is to discuss the theme of a story. In this lesson, you'll learn about themes, and you'll read three examples from well-known stories.
2. What Are Literary Motifs? - Definition & Examples
In this lesson, you will learn about how writers use themes in works of literature as a way to explore universal ideas like love and war. You will also explore motifs, or repeating objects and ideas, which can contribute to theme.
3. How to Find the Theme or Central Idea
In this lesson, you'll learn how to identify the theme or central idea of a text, and you'll get some specific examples of themes from famous stories.
4. Analyzing Theme Development in a Text: Characters, Setting & Plot
Once you can identify the plot, setting, characters, and theme of a story, there's still more to consider. In this lesson, you'll get a sense of how all four of those terms function together to have an effect on the reader.
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Other chapters within the Common Core ELA Grade 7 - Literature: Standards course
- Citing Textual Evidence: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.1
- Literary Elements: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.3
- Literary Devices: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.4
- Structure in Literature: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.5
- Poetry Analysis: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.5
- Fiction Analysis: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.5
- Drama Analysis: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.5
- Point of View in Literature: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.6
- Comparing Mediums in Literature: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.7
- Portrayal of Time, Place & Character in Literature: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.9
- Literature Comprehension & Practice: CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.7.10