Identifying themes in literature is a major part of any English class regardless of grade level. This many times is an issue with English language learners since they have to tackle not just unfamiliar culturally based literature, but also wade their way through overwhelming amounts of never before seen vocabulary words. It is not easy.
Here is a quick video on how to identify themes and what to do them when writing-- THEMES AND HOW TO IDENTIFY THEM . The explanations are basic and, at the same time, highly detailed with clear examples all along the way. Further, this can be added to a class website for ELLs to refer to after school either from a computer (at home, at an after school program, or in a library) or a smartphone (many students carry them -- they are basically mini-computers). When students have access to instructional materials to review at their own leisure, they develop both a deeper grasp of the content and a boost in self-confidence since they have had additional time to process the meat of the lesson.
If the goal is to have students eventually compose essays on key themes from literature, using clear definitions of what is a theme along with solid examples of what they are will set students up to produce the assignments required to both the satisfaction of the teacher and student alike:)
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