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Lesson Plan by Mitchell Zuvela B. Sc., B. Ed.

Symbolism

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Featured Layout

When students complete the activities in this lesson plan, they will use the following comic layout type.

  • Mind Map

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Pixton Lesson Plan on Symbolism
Pixton Lesson Plan on Symbolism
This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings the elements of a story to life with comics and storyboards.

Featured Props

Symbolism

Student creations come alive with these themed objects – in addition to our library of over 3,000 props!

  • Bird
    Bird
  • Cross
    Cross
  • Lion
    Lion
  • Onion
    Onion
  • Pawn
    Pawn
  • Prop Chicken Leg
    Prop Chicken Leg
  • Rose
    Rose
  • Sun
    Sun
  • Tree
    Tree
  • Water
    Water
Print this Teacher Guide

Teacher Guide

Symbolism

Step 1Class discussion with students

Getting Started

A symbol is a word, sound, gesture, or visual image that represents or stands for a particular idea or belief. The object usually conveys a deeper meaning than what is on the surface. To develop symbolism in a written text, the author can use a variety of literary devices such as similes and metaphors. The use of symbolic images by an author is usually used to help develop the characters and theme. Symbolism allows the reader to enter the mind of the author to better understand how they see the world.

A symbolic action is an action that a character makes that has very little practical effect, however, the action itself signifies a certain meaning to the readers. For example, a Nazi salute is merely a military hand gesture, however, the history associated with the action may invoke feelings of anger or sorrow.

Opening Discussion

Use the list of examples below as a discussion starter for the concept of symbolism. In our everyday life we are bombarded with symbols in the news, advertising, and at school. Are there certain symbols that the entire class has the same opinion about? Are there certain symbols in which everyone has a different opinion? How might symbolism change based on a person’s perspective or personal experiences?

Symbolism Examples:

  • Two golden arches (McDonalds? leprechauns?)
  • Octagon (stop sign? shape? UFC?)
  • Middle finger (rude gesture? go that direction?)
  • Chinese characters (scribbles? language?)
  • A fish (food? Jesus?)

Symbolic Action Examples:

  • Hand across the throat (choking? you’re dead?)
  • Nazi salute (military? genocide? hatred? WWII?)
  • Wink (hello? I like you? I have something in my eye?)

For each student, a symbol may take on a different meaning based on the narrative of their life. The job of the author is to take an object and give it meaning or purpose through the course of the plot. Various cultures may have a different associated meaning for a certain symbol. The swastika has a negative connotation for people of the Jewish faith, however, Buddhists believe that it is a symbol of good fortune. Even though the two symbols look similar, they actually have different orientations. A simple change in direction of a line can totally change the meaning of a symbol. For example, in the English language, the letters b, d, p, and q are all represented by the same symbol, however, each is orientated in a different way. Children will often need to determine the difference between these letters so that they are used properly in reading and writing. Ask your class if anyone has had difficulties in the past with orientating these letters.

Step 2Pixton comic-making activities
  • Make a Mind Map
    Symbolism in Society 6-12

    View Activity
  • Make a Mind Map
    Symbolism in Literature

    View Activity
  • Extension / Modification
    Explore (Extension / Modification)

    Students will create their own symbol and explain its purpose in society.

Step 3Concluding discussion with students

What would the world look like without symbols? How would our lives be different?

Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Symbolism 1 Symbolism in Society 6-12

Featured Layouts

  • Mind Map

Intro

A symbol is a word, sound, gesture, or visual image that represents or stands for a particular idea or belief. The object usually conveys a deeper meaning than what is on the surface. To develop symbolism in a written text, the author can use a variety of literary devices such as similes and metaphors. The use of symbolic images by an author is usually used to help develop the characters and theme. Symbolism allows the reader to enter the mind of the author and understand how they see the world.

Instructions

Create a Mind Map that illustrates the role of six symbols or symbolic actions that have meaning in your life.

Each panel should include:

  • A title
  • A detailed description that explains how the symbol is important in your life
  • An appropriate illustration

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Symbolism in Society 6-12

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The symbolism is thoughtfully explained with effective use of examples. The symbolism is clearly identified; examples are appropriate. The symbolism is fully identified; limited use of relevant examples. The symbolism is briefly identified; examples are vague,or poorly developed. The symbolism is not identified; no use of supporting examples.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• develops ideas clearly and logically with details, examples, and descriptions
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• logical descriptions or examples clarify and develop the ideas
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• examples or descriptions are simple and consistent
• few relevant ideas
• examples or descriptions may be poorly developed or illogical
• ideas are not developed
• few details or descriptions
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is appropriate; lacks variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• simple language; vague and lacks purpose
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• inappropriate use of language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence • proper organization
• examples are properly referenced
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• examples are not/improperly referenced
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• examples are not referenced
• panels are missing
Conventions Complete sentences, spelling, punctuation, grammar (e.g.,
use of pronouns; agreement; verb tense
• correct sentence structure, grammar, spelling and punctuation; may include some errors in complex structures • few errors in basic sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar; errors do not interfere with meaning • occasional errors in sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar; errors rarely interfere with meaning • several errors in sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar; errors may make parts hard to follow • repeated errors in basic sentence structure, spelling, punctuation, or grammar often make the writing hard to understand
Total

Example Mind Map

Symbolism in Society by Student

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Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: Symbolism 2 Symbolism in Literature

Featured Layouts

  • Mind Map

Intro

A symbol is a word, sound, gesture, or visual image that represents or stands for a particular idea or belief. The object usually conveys a deeper meaning than what is on the surface. To develop symbolism in a written text, the author can use a variety of literary devices such as similes and metaphors. The use of symbolic images by an author is usually used to help develop the characters and theme. Symbolism allows the reader to enter the mind of the author and understand how they see the world.

Instructions

Create a Mind Map that explains the importance of a symbol in a poem, play, novel, or short story discussed in class.

Be sure to provide support by using examples from the text.

Each panel should include:

  • Page or scene number
  • An explanation as to why the symbol in important
  • An appropriate illustration

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Symbolism in Literature

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The symbolism is highly developed; examples have significant purpose and engage the reader. The symbolism is well developed; examples are specific and provide sufficient support. The symbolism is briefly discussed; examples are accurate but not fully explained. The symbolism is briefly discussed; vague or irrelevant examples. The symbolism is not identified; lacks any supporting examples.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• develops ideas clearly and logically with details, examples, and descriptions
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• logical descriptions or examples clarify and develop the ideas
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• examples or descriptions are simple and consistent
• few relevant ideas
• examples or descriptions may be poorly developed or illogical
• ideas are not developed
• few details or descriptions
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence (supporting examples identified) • proper organization
• examples are properly referenced
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• examples are not/improperly referenced
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• examples are not referenced
• panels are missing
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total

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