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SWBAT determine theme while interpreting the influence of other literary elements.

Big Idea

What lesson did I learn?


30 minutes

Prior to this lesson, the class discussed theme as a lesson learned from a piece of writing. Students completed Recognizing Theme and Imagery” worksheet as their daily prompt which relates to classwork for the day. The major part of this worksheet is taken from the website.  However, I added a section for students to draw an interpretation of the poem; this is found in the resources below.

Students independently completed the worksheet, which required them to interpret the poem metaphorically and apply their knowledge of theme.

After responding, students shared their illustration with a partner.  The partner gave feedback as to whether they understood the meaning of the student drawing.

Questions/answers were discussed as a whole class.  Students added details to their response if they heard something that they would like to include.


10 minutes

Prior to reviewing the power point, I passed out "Theme Notes" which students glued into their notebooks.  I explained that they should glue these notes on the right side of their notebooks and use the left side of the notebook to add explanations or ask questions about the power point. As we reviewed the power point, I addressed basic terminology of theme, universal theme, how to identify theme, and validity of a theme.

Theme Related to "Daedalus and Icarus"

40 minutes

After taking notes, students responded to scenarios relating to themes found in Deadalus and Icarus by Geraldine  McCaughrean. They responded as a quickwrite followed by whole class discussion referring to responses.

A quickwrite requires students to respond in 2 - 10 minutes (as appropriate) to learning in the classroom.  It is an informal assessment of student thinking.  It encourages students to reflect upon content either before, during, or after a lesson.


1. By “flying too close to the sun” Icarus took a risk.  What situations in your life have put you in danger because you “took a risk.”  What lesson could you learn from Icarus behavior?

2. Have you ever disobeyed your parents in order to achieve something great? Was it worth it? Do you think Icarus should have just listened to his dad when Daedalus said, “Keep your arms out wide and fly close to me.”  How can you relate this to your experience?

As closure,  students referred to previously brainstormed lists  of other themes presented in this myth (from a previous lesson) and identified how it related to their own lives.


This Activity could be used with numerous reading activities