Themes and Morals in Fables


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UNIT: Response to Literature

(Writing About Literature website)


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Reading 3.4 Identify and analyze recurring themes across works (e.g. the value of bravery, loyalty and friendship; the effects of loneliness).
Writing 2.2 Write responses to literature:
a. Develop interpretations exhibiting careful reading, understanding, and insight.
b. Organize interpretations around several clear ideas, premises, or images from the literary works.
c. Justify interpretations through sustained use of examples and textual evidence.

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WARM-UP

Copy the following definition:



THEME

The theme of a story is the meaning, moral, message or big idea of the story. It can also be a lesson you can learn about life or an insight into human nature. The theme of a fable is its moral. The theme of a parable is its teaching. The theme of a piece of fiction is its view about life and how people behave. Most themes are not stated directly; the reader must infer them from the details and events of the story. Examples of themes: There is time for work and time for play - A kind act is always remembered - Whatever you do, do with all your might - Learn from your mistakes.



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ASSIGNMENT #1: Gathering Information For Your Response to Literature Essay

February 18 -February 22.

DUE: Friday, February 22


STEP 1

Copy the following chart:


Title of the Fables or Stories

Characters

Problem/Story Line/Summary

Theme

1.

2.

3.

4.



STEP 2

Click on any of the following websites:

Aesop's Fables 1
Aesop's Fables 2
Aesop's Fables 3
Fables and Fairy Tales
Stories for Children

STEP 3

Read 4 fables or 4 fairy tales of your choice ( You can also read 2 fables and 2 fairy tales).

NOTE: At least 2 of them must have a common theme (Common means the same or very similar. For example: "Androcles and the Lion" and "The Lion and the Mouse - The common theme for both fables is Little friends may prove to be great friends).


4. After you read the stories or fables, fill out the chart and turn it in no later than Friday, February 22, 2008.


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WRITING ASSIGNMENT

FOR YOUR INFORMATION: TUESDAY, MARCH 4, 2008, ALL SEVENTH GRADE STUDENTS IN THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA WILL TAKE THE CALIFORNIA WRITING ASSESSMENT. YOUR TASK WILL BE TO WRITE AN ESSAY UP TO 5 PARAGRAPHS, REFLECTING ONE OF THREE LITERARY GENRES YOU HAVE STUDIED IN YOUR 6TH AND 7TH ENGLISH CLASSES.

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ASSIGNMENT #2: Response to Literature Essay

February 25- February 29

DUE Date: Friday, February 29, 2008.


1. Pick 2 fables or stories with a common theme (You can pick the same fables from assignment #1).

2. Copy the following essay template at the end of this page.

3. Follow the instructions on the template.

4. Begin writing your first draft (USE your OWN paper).

(Please refer to the sample essay at the bottom of this page)


COPY THE FOLLOWING TEMPLATE - Use a separate sheet of paper :)


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(THIS IS YOUR ESSAY TEMPLATE)



Your OWN title ___(Center your title/Capitalize the most important words of your title.)

(Skip 2 or 3 lines)



Paragraph #1: Introduction

You must include the following information -Do not forget to indent:

1. Titles of the fables/stories you read.

2. Thesis statement ( Write the common theme for both stories)

3. A brief/short summary (a few lines) of both stories and how they are related to your theme.

(Skip a line)



Paragraph #2: Body

You must include the following information - Do not forget to indent the first sentence of your paragraph:

1. A transition (Example: To begin with, first,...) followed by the title of the FIRST fable/story you read.

2. Write an example/passage/detail/event/action or quote (exact words taken from the fable in quotation marks) and EXPLAIN how they are related to the theme.

(Skip a line)


Paragraph #3: Body

You must include the following information - Do not forget to indent the first sentence of your paragraph:

1. A transition (Example: To continue, second,...) followed by the title of the SECOND fable/story you read.

2. Write an example/passage/detail/event/action or quote (exact words taken from the fable in quotaion marks) and EXPLAIN how they are related to the theme.

(Skip a line)


Paragraph #4: Body

You must include the following information - Do not forget to indent the first sentence of your paragraph:

1. A transition (Example: Moreover, third,...) followed by the title of the FIRST or SECOND fable/story you read.

2. Write another example/passage/detail/event/action or quote (exact words taken from the fable in quotaion marks) and EXPLAIN how they are related to the theme.

(Skip a line)



Paragraph #5: Conclusion

You must include the following information - Do not forget to indent the first sentence of your paragraph:

1. A transition (Example: In conclusion, to conclude, finally, to summarize,...) followed by an explanation on how the characters in BOTH stories did something or learned something related to your theme.

2. Summarize and paraphrase (paragraphs 2 and 3 and write your own conclusion about how both stories/fables have a common theme.


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ASSIGNMENT #3

Typing Your Essay/Revising It/Printing the Best Essay with a Highest Score


1. Click here myaccess.jpeg

2. Sign in, using your Study Island username and password. NOTE: If you have never used My Access, your preliminary password will be mms. You will have a chance to change it at a later time)

3. NOTE: When you finish your essay, print 2 copies (Print your best essay-

Score: 5 or 6)


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SAMPLE ESSAY

(Taken from a student sample essay, with a score of 4, found in the LAUSD Instrucional Guide, Instructional Component 3, Grade 7, Response to Literature)

(Center title) Forgiveness


(Indent) A theme is the moral or lesson of a story. A recurring theme appears in more than one work. The recurring theme for the stories “I Am Not Mad Anymore” and “A Bad Road for Cats” is no matter how mad you are at someone, you should always try to forgive them. In the story “I am not mad anymore”, Shirl, the seventeen-year old girl, was upset because Carly, her twin sister, had run away. Carly realizes that she should go home. She happily waits for her at the airport. In the story “A bad road for cats”, Magda, a woman, loses her cat, Louis. She goes to look for him and has to buy him back. At first she was angry at the boy who sold her cat, but later on, she forgave him.

(Indent) To begin with In the story “ I Am Not Mad Anymore”, the theme is no matter how mad you are at someone, you should always forgive them. It was very evident that Shirl was upset with Carly. “Sometimes she could feel the acid of her fury in her veins” This statement shows how upset the main character, Shirl, was. She also said, “Pure rage would burst her blood cells, pack her arteries”. She didn’t mean that literary her arteries packed. She was showing how angry she was.

(Indent) After a while, Shirl’s anger started to grow smaller and smaller. She stopped caring why she was mad. “At first Shirl held Carly wholly responsible, but time went by, she lost interest”. She began to forgive her sister. Shirl learned a valuable lesson. She learned that she should always forgive people.

(Indent) To continue In the story “A bad road for cats”, the main character, Magda learns a valuable lesson. When she lost her cat, she was upset. When she found but that a boy was selling her cat, she was angry. “Magda wanted to leap for Louis, steal him and run home”. This shows that she was also sad that she lost her cat. “She came to feel sympathy for him remembering his tears”. The woman felt sorry for the boy and forgave him. She even had a present for the boy.

(Indent) In conclusion, both stories have a theme in common. We learned a valuable lesson from both stories. The stories teach us that we should always try to forgive people. The theme in both stories was “No matter how upset you are with someone, you should always forgive them”. Both of the main characters learned an important lesson in life.