Theme Gallery Walk

Class began with a WA that asked students to review vocabulary. They were each to write a sentence that used at least two vocabulary words, and I asked them to challenge themselves by not choosing words they already felt super comfortable with.

After reading and discussing this WA, students got back their terrifying scene assignments! Below are some of the key points I explained to them before they looked at their scenes.

  • Average score = B; Highest score = 100%
  • My focus was on the things you did well because I already provided you feedback with the areas to improve before you went through revision.
  • You can always revise again! Come in after school one day to meet with me, go over what you want to improve, and set a due date.
  • If you scored below 42, then this is required. Don’t worry though! That just means your writing process wasn’t quite done. It doesn’t mean you aren’t capable!

If students had disagreements with me on a score, I asked them to let their thoughts marinate for a day and look over their piece tonight. For example, if they didn’t get full credit for power sentences, but they thought they deserved it, they should look at their submitted draft tonight and talk to me tomorrow.

The purpose of today’s lesson was all about figuring out how to write a good theme for a text. Students received the sheet below that described a rating system for different theme statements, and then we looked at examples of themes students submitted yesterday after reading “The Monkey’s Paw” in order to see what was good and what might need to be changed.

Gallery Walk – Evaluating Themes

Students then worked with a partner to walk around the room and evaluate 15 different theme statements that students turned in yesterday.

At the end of this activity, students looked at their own theme statement, rated it, and revised it based on their new understanding of how a theme should be written. They shared these new themes with their group members and got feedback.

All of this practice with theme will certainly help students with their homework tonight because for homework students need to read the story “Ruthless” and use the organizer to determine the theme. Students had time to begin their homework at this point in class.


Discovering Theme GO (7th)

Students had 10 – 15 minutes to work on their homework, and then we ended class with notebook thinking. The video prompt is below, and I asked students to think about the theme of the video while they were watching. How would you word that theme in the right way?


  1. Read for 25 minutes.
  2. Finish reading “Ruthless” and using the yellow sheet to come up with the theme.
  3. Book talk reflection (for those of you who went last week on Friday)