Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Grade 9 Lost and Found

Unit 1: Lost and Found

GUIDING Q'S:  What is theme?  How can I express a preference for one text over another with the same theme?  How can I express my understanding and personal connection to the theme of a text?  What is a timeless theme? 

Students will 
  • explore several texts that have the same theme.  
  • decide which text they prefer and explain why they prefer it.   
  • find and annotate a song that fits into the theme of Lost and Found 
  • compare and contrast their own life situation to themes 
  • represent these connections by creating a variety of texts: poem, memoir, paragraph
  • integrate visuals to reinforce their overall impression of the theme

Students are exploring what it means to be lost or found by making a list and then free writing.  See prompt below:

We are discussing the difference between theme (thematic message) and main idea (thematic concept) by planning a theme party and introducing complications to our parties.

We practiced identifying theme before breaking into groups.  See our work below:

Once we all have a theme statement (in pink above) students will represent this theme using a bumper sticker form.

We decided to talk about symbolism for our bumper stickers see our writer's notebook entry below:

Can you find:

  • symbolism defined
  • thoughts about font size, colour, and shape
  • thoughts about images 
  • individual interpretations of meaning
  • thoughts about how the choices in the quote improve the meaning and feeling of the quote

Next we decided we needed to discuss how to transform our thematic messages in to a slogan that sounded more like a bumper sticker.  We practiced word choice with this lesson below:

Practice Word Choice
I use words with an appropriate connotation (feeling behind them)  to improve the tone of a bumper sticker and engage the audience.
This means my words should:
  • Be appropriate
  • Have a strong feeling
  • Be interesting
  • Create imagery

50. Love is the answer

Love is why we are here. It is the force for good in this sometimes random and harsh world. Share it freely. Express it daily.

Steps to help us through this process:
  1. Read the description then add to it.  What does it mean to you?
  2. Underline words that are appealing and have a strong feeling.
  3. Create a list of things we can compare our topic to.  
    • Love compared to…   superhero, policeman
    • Love helps us survive… compare random harsh world to a storm or an angry ocean or a complicated maze
    • Fly with love’s guidance… Love from others transforms us allowing us to soaring free through the sky
  4. Write the message as a figurative sentence.  
  5. Change words. (synonyms with a more accurate feeling)  Rearrange words.  Add punctuation.
  6. Create several versions of the same message.
  1. Some things to use:
    • Rhyme
    • Parallel structure
    • Figurative language - Simile, Metaphor, Alliteration, Onomatopoeia, Personification, Oxymoron
    • Slang?
See our class ideas below:

Students made a first draft of their Theme Bumper Sticker and we examined them by identifying a star and a stair for our work.  We phrased these by using what we learned about using symbolic Font, Colour and Images.

Students sorted their specific meaningful feedback using an interactive Google Drawing or Slips of paper and a target place mat.

The most specific feedback is moved to the center of the target and the least specific to the outer ring.

See image below:

We generated an anchor chart to help remind us of what to do when giving specific meaning ful feedback:

After our first draft we played Musical Feedback! Students left 1st drafts, star stair strategy and criteria list on their desks, moved to the music and gave specific meaningful feedback to their peers once the music stopped. : )

Students made improvements and then self assessed their bumper sticker's effectiveness. We examined the criteria below:


Students recieved Global Feedback:

We are reading 3 stories by Shaun Tan:

Students read the stories and completed the summary chart below:

Then we watched "Yertle the Turtle" by Dr. Seuss. While viewing we tried to figure out:

  • Which political leader from history might Yertle the turtle represent?
  • What makes you say that?

Students decided that the story represented Hitler and his rise and fall from power during WWII.
Some proof:
  • is ambitious.
  • steps on others to get where he wants
  • doesn't care about human suffering - pain, hunger
  • stretches his resources and falls from power
  • is in the mud; rules dirt in the end - death
We watched a Schmoop video to solidify our observations.

We defined allegory as a class:

Symbol is one thing represents feeling or an idea.  Allegory uses all the pieces of a story to represent a message. 

Students then reread Shaun Tan's Stories to complete the second side of the chart:

Students work in groups of 3 or 4 to solidify their message and find proof in the story that it is the message.

Last students write an analysis paragraph to explain the theme using support from the story to explain what makes us say this is the message.

Analyzing Theme in Groups

Today we reviewed the definitions for thematic concept and thematic message:

We brainstormed topics that came up in "The Lost Thing":

Next, we generated several theme statments for the topics with red clouds around them.

Here are some of our ideas:


The author believes belonging is important. (Too general and vague)

The author believes having a storng sence of belonging iwll make people feel happy and ore content with their daily lives.  (BETTER more SPECIFIC)

We tried writing several statements for BOREDOM...  See examples below:

We assessed these statements using the rubric :

Proficient: Thoughtful theme statement - is beyond obvious

Excellent: Insightful theme statement -  Unique / Fresh perspective to the topic.

Satisfactory: Predictable theme statement - general ideas that most will have.

Groups wrote their own theme statements and then we worked in groups to find evidence from the text.

Support should be a quote or descriptive examples in our own words.

Students helped Mrs. Anderson find evidence for her theme statement below:

Students wrote their own paragraphs explaining the theme of the story they liked the most.

See Mrs. Anderson's example below:

Students will self assess using the rubric below:

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