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A Story Like the Wind / After Reading / /

What’s the Big Idea?

Identifying themes and relating them to Amnesty International's mission

Lesson length: 1 session

Lesson from A Story Like the Wind series

Text potential

  • Theme: Freedom
  • Theme: Hope
  • Theme: Power of storytelling

Strategies used

  • Discussion and Dialogue
  • Group Talk Techniques

Purpose

Themes are the big underlying ideas that are central to the story and express the point of view of the author. In this lesson, children are given theme cards to discuss in relation to the story. A variation of this lesson would be for the children to generate the list of themes that they consider apply to the story.

Preparation

  • Copies of Theme Cards, one set between two.
  • Copies of A Story Like the Wind, at least one between two.

Process

Briefly revise what a theme is in literature. 

  • Can you give an example of a common theme?

Distribute the theme cards. (See online resources). Briefly discuss what each card means and ask the group to sort into two piles: themes that apply to the story and those that don’t. Share and talk about the themes that the children have selected as being relevant to the story.

Draw a table on a large sheet of paper: Write the themes that you have identified in the right column. In pairs, ask the children to find quotations that illustrate the theme. They can refer to the text.

In the third column, ask them to explain how this quotation illustrates the theme. They might have more than one quotation for each theme. Work through an example together before working independently or in groups.

Theme  Quotation  Explanation 
        
        

Final reflection

Refer back  to the earlier discussion about Amnesty International.

  • Are any of the themes in A Story Like the Wind important to Amnesty International’s mission?

Resources

Contributors

Nikki Gamble

Nikki Gamble
Director, Just Imagine
Nikki has worked extensively in schools across the UK and internationally. She is the author of Exploring Children’s Literature (4th edit) (2019) and co-author of Guiding Readers (2016) which was awarded the UKLA Academic Book of the Year Award 2017. Nikki is KS2 reading advisor and series consultant for Oxford University Press and content creator for the Oxford School Improvement and Oxford Owl websites. Nikki is Associate Consultant at the University of London, Institute of Education and Honorary Fellow at the University of Winchester

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