Lesson Plan Details


Symbols in Western Literature- Digital and Paper/Pencil

Before you ask students to comprehend difficult literary texts, build their skills in interpreting symbolism with this lesson plan presented in pencil paper and digital formats.

Read a mentor text with your students (link included) or watch the video version. Then use the mentor text to introduce symbolism in an accessible way. Move on to crowd-sourcing a list of literary symbols. Add an extension activity that connects commercial logos to symbolism and asks students to categorize these visual symbols.

Move on to analyzing the symbolism in an allegorical poem by Eve Merriam where students find and share their analysis. Follow up with a tactile matching game that pairs symbols with their meanings, or allow students to use the editable Word document to drag the words to their symbols. All digital? Use the link to the Quizizz game to review before taking the matching quiz.

After using this 16-page lesson, you can be sure your students will come away with a deeper understanding of symbolism and be able to spot it in everyday texts, as well as literary ones. Also included are options and extensions, as well as CCSS and background information.

Use the editable and fillable Word documents in your face-to-face classroom instruction, or upload the fillable Word documents to your LMS and add your own teacher guidance. Or, upload the Google Slides and Form for a total virtual experience that is perfect for Distance Learning or your emergency sub folder.

A less extensive version of this lesson is included in the resource kit called Learning a Life Lesson.

Category: ELA → Literature
Price: $4.00

This lesson plan costs $4.00

About the Teacher


Barbara Miller

I have taught English/Language Arts for over twenty years to remedial through gifted students from 7th to 12th grade, AP/dual credit university courses in three corporations and at one university. During my career, I have supervised and taught several student teachers and numerous pre-service teachers. Project Based Learning and choices that fit or extend learning styles and intelligences make my classroom activities engaging for students and filled with opportunities for academic growth. Many teacher professional development programs have supported my work. I hold an M.A. in Education and an Indiana High Ability Teaching License, am a Teacher Consultant for Indiana Writing Project, and have participated in many educator programs sponsored by the Lilly Endowment, National Consortium for the Teaching of Asia, National Endowment for the Humanities, US Department of State, Korea Academy for Educators, and Toyota International Teachers, among others. Additionally, I have been awarded many grants for classroom and school-wide projects, ranging from hundreds of dollars to $250,000. In addition, I have conducted professional development on writing workshop and differentiation in my own school, at conferences and events, and at schools in Peru and India. I am currently writing about my ancestors who taught Freedmen after the Civil War.


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