Reflection: High Quality Task Comparing Themes and Characters with Doctor Who's "Midnight" - Section 2: Watching "Midnight"


Theme is a very difficult concept to master.  Essentially it's the main idea of a story or poem, but that's not the whole thing.  It's also what we, as the reader, viewer, or listener, is supposed to learn about life and humanity.  There's never just one right answer, because theme is a transaction between the reader, text, and author.

I think this lesson is successful in helping students understand the concept of theme for two reasons. It helps students see that themes can be similar and help them see that they can look for literary connections between stories and TV shows. By using a Socratic circle, students also see that there isn't just one right answer because literary works don't have just one theme. From our discussion we learned that the theme could be

  • It's easier to find a scapegoat among strangers.
  • Letting fear take over has terrifying results.
  • We, not the thing that is different, is the monster.
  • Humans will always try to find scapegoats to take the blame.

That's not even a complete list, either.

  Helping Students Understand Theme
  High Quality Task: Helping Students Understand Theme
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Comparing Themes and Characters with Doctor Who's "Midnight"

Unit 11: Analyzing Literature and Integrating Knowledge with Act 2 of “The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street”
Lesson 10 of 14

Objective: Students will be able to compare themes and characters by viewing "Midnight," completing a plot diagram, a Venn diagram, and discussing both episodes.

Big Idea: Be not afraid of the darkness or monsters, but be afraid of what we are capable of.

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