Clues to theme? Analyzing images and ideas in Night, Chapters 1-3

13 teachers like this lesson
Print Lesson


SWBAT trace a theme in text by identifying recurring images in chapters 1-3 of Night by Elie Wiesel.

Big Idea

Can we determine what is important to an author by evaluating recurring images/ideas?

Warm Ups--Celebration Monday

5 minutes

As always at the beginning of the week, students will write a to-do list and celebrate the weekend or upcoming week.  We always make Monday,  CELEBRATION MONDAY! 


Mini Lesson

15 minutes

Students have read Chapters one through three of Night and now we are going to work on our analysis of its themes.  I will model identifying important details and determining a theme from those details.  I am going to begin reading part of Chapter Two aloud.  I choose to read sections aloud because I think it is so important for students to repeatedly hear text and for them to hear my thinking.  I want students to not just read a text, but to read it with a specific purpose, and the more I model it, the more inclined they are to read with that mindset.  Often times, students "fake read," meaning that they pretend like they are reading, they go through the motions, but don't read closely.  Modeling how I read is good practice and helps establish my credibility as a reader.  As I read Chapter Two, I will list important details on the Smart Board.  After that, I will use our Note Card Anchor Chart to create a theme statement and two to three sentences that support that statement.  This is the same close reading exercise they did with the Long Way Gone and Twelve Years a Slave lessons.  Now, they are taking those same skills and applying it to a different text.  

Student Work Time

25 minutes

Students will be working through Night chapter 1-3 to create 5 note cards that support a particular theme.  They will chose a theme (loss of innocence, courage, bearing witness, silence) and will support that statement with text evidence.  The Standards explain in RL 9-10.2 that students must be able to analyze a theme's development over the course of a text.  Students must read and then go back to analyze.  Today, I will allow students to talk about the text and examine the themes in table groups.  

This should be a familiar task for the student.  Since we worked closely on reading for analysis previously, students should be confident to tackle this work.  I anticipate that deciding which theme is most applicable will be the most rigorous part for students which is why I am allowing table work today.  I really want them to get to the "how" does the theme of courage present itself in this part of the text (front of their note card) and "why" does Wiesel examine that theme (back of the note card). Students will collect these cards and organize them in their theme folders so they can analyze the themes development over the course of the text (RL 9-10.2).  After today, they will have examples of the "how" and "why" for three different texts.  Here is a student example of a theme card.

As students are working, I will be conferring with table groups of students. Since embracing Tovani's workshop model, my students have flourished.  Their test scores and reading scores have vastly improved.  Most importantly, conferring with students is an excellent formative assessment tool to really assure students are meeting the standards.  Additionally, I use the data I collect on their individual conferring form to communicate with parents and with students. 


5 minutes

Today's closure will be turning in one notecard for Night.  I want to take a summative assessment grade since they have had three opportunities to practice. I am going to allow students to choose which note card they feel has the best analysis to turn in.