In this literary elements lesson, students will compose a character-symbol poem. Students have to consider the characterization of a major character in the novel and find symbols from the novel that represent the character. The final product is a concrete poem that describes both character and symbol.

Group Size: Any

Learning Objectives:

Students will be able to:

• Analyze the character traits of major characters from the novel.
• Compose a concrete poem that analyzes character and symbolism.
• Define and recognize symbolism in a fictional text.

Guiding Question:

How does an author create realistic characters? What kinds of symbols surround us everyday? Why do author’s use symbolism?


Character-symbol poem worksheet


Do Now
• 5-minute journal write (6 – 8 line expectation)

(Put a drawing/image of a tree and a heart on the board)

What do these images represent for you?

• Review student responses with random questioning.

• Distribute the character and symbolism worksheet to students and discuss a symbol and symbolism.

Symbol: A symbol is an real object or image that represent an idea beyond itself.
Symbolism: The use of specific objects or images to represent figurative ideas. A symbol must be something tangible or visible, while the idea it symbolizes must be something abstract or universal. (In other words, a symbol must be something you can hold in your hand or draw a picture of, while the idea it symbolizes must be something you cannot hold in your hand or draw a picture of.)

• Take time to ensure students understand the vocabulary used.
• Model completing the chart for the symbol of “the heart”. Examples of what the symbols represents include love, peace, compassion, life, the soul, etc.
• Have students complete the chart for “a watch”
• Introduce the idea that The Kite Runner is filled with symbols and some symbols can represent certain characters. Model completing the chart for Amir. Example of a symbol is the kite and the symbol can represent freedom, reaching for dreams, etc.

Guided Practice
• Students will complete the chart for the remaining characters.
• Review as a class and brainstorm the symbols that the students have identified.
• Have each student choose one character and symbol that they will use to write the character –symbol poem.

Independent Practice

• Review the model character-symbol poem “Mama’s Flower”
• Students will plan their own character- symbol poem using the chart from guided practice.
• After they have planned, students can publish the poem in the concrete poem form. (Concrete poem are poems that create images using words For example, if the poem is about a flower, the words would create the outline of a flower.)

• Students can create a series of concrete poems as they continue reading the book and discovering other symbols.


Attached Files:



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