Head to Head Fiction Reflections
Students will analyze fiction themes using dynamic graphic organizers for reading reflections.
- Brainstorm with your students several details about each of the following stories: "Goldilocks and the Three Bears" and "The Three Little Pigs."
- Post and take notes on a T-chart labeled with sections for "G.A.T.T.B." ("Goldilocks and the Three Bears") and "T.L.P" ("The Three Little Pigs").
- Ask your students to turn to a neighbor and share what life lesson or repeating details come up in either tale.
- Have students share out something they shared or overheard as a class and note student responses on the T-chart in the corresponding columns.
- Explain that theme often comes in two types. The first is a repeating idea where the author uses repetition of literary devices (i.e., text, phrases, or events) to make a point. Another form is one that describes a lesson about life. For instance, "It's important to have a secure home," could be an inferred life-lesson theme for both G.A.T.T.B. and T.L.P.
- Share that in the following lesson your students will learn to identify, compare, and contrast theme-related details between fiction texts.
Explicit Instruction/Teacher modeling(5 minutes)
- Display and complete the Head to Head Fiction: Themes graphic organizer with details from G.A.T.T.B. and T.L.P. in front of your class using the "It’s important to have a secure home" life-lesson theme for both stories. (Note: some students may make a case for the repeating idea theme type, as both stories use text repetition to heighten dramatic effect. Either choice is fine!)
- Point out to your students how theme details belong in specific parts of the diagram. Details include:
- The three bears' door is open so Goldilocks trespasses by entering the home.
- Two little pigs built their homes with less-secure materials so the Big Bad Wolf destroyed them.
- The trespasser in the T.L.P. was a wolf.
- The trespasser in G.A.T.T.B. was a young blonde girl.
- In the end of T.L.P., the Wolf was boiled in a pot.
- In the end of the G.A.T.T.B., Goldilocks ran away.
- Clarify with your students which items go in each part of the (Venn) diagram and why.
Guided Practice(10 minutes)
- Distribute class sets of the Head to Head Fiction: Themes graphic organizer and one of two short fiction texts.
- Read, discuss, and agree on a text theme and type with your students. Guide your students to fill out the Head to Head Fiction: Themes graphic organizer.
Independent working time(15 minutes)
- Distribute the second short fiction text to student pairs and assign your students to flip and complete the Head to Head Fiction: Themes graphic organizer comparing both short fiction texts by theme.
- Offer three to four fiction text selections for student choice, differentiated by reading level. Selections should be limited to two to three pages of print.
- Have students use a double-sided Head to Head Fiction: Themes graphic organizer that compares one of two types of theme on either side (e.g., one side compares two texts with life-lesson themes and the other side compares texts with themes defined by repetitive elements for literary effect).
- Have students complete the Head to Head Fiction: Protagonists and Challenges worksheet.
- Have students complete the Head to Head Fiction: Problems and Solutions worksheet.
- With a computer, internet access, and a projector, you can reference the link to watch Sandra Cisneros reading her story "Eleven." Watch it together and compare it to another short fiction text!
- Show your students four statements:
- a "lesson about life" statement (e.g., "You can’t always get what you want.")
- a "repeating idea" statement (e.g., "In every outdoor scene throughout the story, church bells ring.")
- another of the above two types of statements (e.g., "A hummingbird is always at the window.")
- a completely unrelated statement (e.g., "The lead character ate three hamburgers.")
- Ask your students to show you a statement by show of fingers, tell you if it is a theme, and if so, what kind.
Review and closing(10 minutes)
- DISCUSS: What common themes, truths, or experiences do you share with characters from stories of other places and times?