Character traits are elements of a character’s personality. Just like people, we can identify how characters grow or change by watching how they react in different situations. We can track that by looking at how a character evolves over the course of a story.
The theme is the main lesson that the reader draws from the story. Theme can be really clear, like with Emperor’s New Clothes or folktale/ fables, or it can be more discreet—you might really have to think about it! When you are having trouble getting to the heart of the story consider following this process: Ask yourself: what is one big idea that this story addresses? What details can I identify from the text that relate to this idea? Then, it’s time for your brain to get working. What do these details tell me about this big idea? That is going to be the theme. Make sure that your theme is a life lesson not a story lesson. It should also be written as a complete sentence. It’s important to remember that a story can have more than one theme.
By now, we should be able to:
Determine a theme
Support the theme with textual evidence—details or examples from a book or story
Literature book, page 116, 117, 118
Pictograph posters— group planning theme and textual evidence(quotes from story to support theme)
With a summary, our goal is to give only the most important points about something. With a summary of a piece of fiction, we want to make sure we get across the main events without including unnecessary details. The general format for our fiction summary contains one sentence with the TAO- title, author, and overview followed by one sentence background (if needed), with the key plot elements that follow. Always use transitions to connect ideas. The final sentence of the summary should be the theme, or one lesson that a character learns about life (or that you learn through what the character doesn’t learn- like Emperor’s New Clothes) in that particular story. Wow! That’s a lot to fit in to about 8 sentences! Notice how summary ties in with the standards above. Let’s not forget: summaries should not contain personal opinion. No I/me/my in sight.
By now, we should be able to:
Identify the most important ideas/events to include in the summary
Point of view refers to the perspective that the narrator takes when telling a story. The perspective can completely change the story; the way that I interpret an event and that an observer interprets event can be quite different! Also, consider how including character’s thoughts can impact the way that we understand a story.
Figurative language includes a wide variety of types of language that writers use to enhance their writing. Examples and types are in the chart below. While we haven’t covered all of these so far this year, what we need to know is this: figurative language means that we are choosing to say something in a way that is not literal for a particular effect. If I choose to describe the land as “blanketed in snow” you know I don’t have a blanket made of snow! What am I trying to tell you about the snow? What picture am I painting in your mind? Why am I describing it like that? It’s important to know the specifics—what it is, an example of (hyperbole, idiom, etc.), but more important than that is being able to interpret the figurative language- to examine the effect that the language the author chooses has on the meaning or tone of writing.