Learning Targets: I can state a theme in a piece of literature. I can explain how a character’s conflict and motivation reveal the text’s theme. I can explain how a character’s change or growth reveals the text’s theme. I can provide specific examples throughout the text which support the theme.
Name_________________________ period ___ date____
Directions: Read each statement of theme and write the appropriate theme under each summary. Consider the questions that we ask ourselves to determine theme. What is causing the conflict in the story? How does the main character change and what causes this change? What happens at the end of the story and what causes that to happen?
Story Summaries A. Black Rabbit Summer, Kevin Brooks
Thoughtful Pete, tough Pauly, twins Eric and Nicole, strange Raymond: As kids they were tight; now they've grown up--and apart. They agree to get together one last time, but past hurts and personal histories soon surface, and the party's over. The group splinters off into the night. Days later, a girl goes missing. Who is the prime suspect in her disappearance? It’s one of the old gang. Pete doesn't know what to believe. Could one of his childhood friends really be a cold-blooded killer?
A. Theme: B. Cirque Du Freak: A Living Nightmare, Darren Shan
Darren Shan is just an ordinary schoolboy who loves to ride bikes and hang out with his three best friends. Then one day Darren and his friends stumble across an invitation to visit the Cirque Du Freak, a strange and mysterious freak show. The boys can only buy two tickets, so they draw straws to see who will go. Almost as if by destiny, Darren wins one of the tickets, and what follows is his horrifying descent into the dark and bloody world of vampires.
Charlotte Usher feels practically invisible at school, and then one day she really "is" invisible. Even worse: she's dead. But being dead doesn't stop Charlotte from wanting to be popular; it just makes her more creative about achieving her goal.
Kat and her autistic brother Ted watch their cousin Salim board the London Eye ride. But after half an hour it lands and everyone troops off — except Salim. Where could he have gone? How on earth could he have disappeared into thin air? Ted and Kat become sleuthing partners, since the police are having no luck. Despite Kat’s doubts about her brother’s ability, Ted proves essential in unraveling the mystery to find their cousin.
D. Theme: E: The Ruins, Scott Smith
Two American couples, newly graduated from college, are enjoying the final week of a Cancun vacation when they are persuaded by a new friend to accompany him into the jungle to find his brother who has gone off with an archaeological team in search of ruins, and they do not realize until it is too late that they are trapped by an unspeakable horror.
A young woman is plunged into a labyrinth where the secrets of her family's past connect to an inconceivable evil: the dark fifteenth-century reign of Vlad the Impaler and a time-defying pact that may have kept his awful work alive through the ages.