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DATE: 11th May 2017.

CLASS: Form 2H

TEACHER: Renee Tricia Mulchan.

DURATION: 40 minutes.

LESSON: Themes in Literature (short story) Backfire

TEACHING POINT: Theme is the central or main idea in a literary work. As the reader, we make
inferences and draw conclusions about what the author is trying to express
as theme is not stated directly.


RESOURCES: Video clips, PowerPoint presentation, copies of short story Backfire, overhead
projector, worksheet, graphic organizer and speakers


Students will be able to-

 Define the term theme.

 Determine the theme/s within a literary work.
 Cite textual evidence to support the theme of a text.


Set Induction- Present an absorbing video clip highlighting several themes- caring, dreams, hopes,
determination etc.

Engage the class in a discussion on their thoughts about Nick, the limbless man and the message
he is sending. Guide the discussion on how they inferred what they came up with. Point out to
them that all of these messages, ideas are called themes.

Ask the class if they learned a lesson from the video.



STEP 1: Based on the discussion, Students respond to the questions asked by

teacher elicits definitions from students on the class teacher
‘theme. A proper definition is provided.
STEP 2: Using a PowerPoint Students look at a PowerPoint presentation
presentation, the teacher models to students where the teacher models to them on how to
how to identify theme in a piece of writing identify the theme using several steps
using various steps.
STEP 3: On the board, the teacher writes With the assistance of the teacher, the students
“the theme of the story is... and writes in the present their findings and explain how the
answer. The teacher then proceeds to explain theme relates to a story.
how to determine the theme of a story.
STEP 4: Using Guided Practice the Students listen and follow along the audio of
teacher and the students determine the theme the short story Backfire, highlighting
in a given piece. important aspects that may relate to the theme.
STEP 5: Teacher explains to students
that the theme was not openly (explicitly) Students work in pairs to complete the theme
stated but they were able to identify it based on graphic organizer
evidence from the text using four important
steps. Students present their findings and discuss.
STEP 6: Teacher distributes and asks
students to listen attentively to an audio of
Backfire. Students are asked to highlight what
they think will be important in identifying the
theme/s of the story.
STEP 7: Students work in pairs to
discuss and complete the theme graphic
STEP 8: Students present their findings
and the class discuss, guided by teacher.

CLOSURE: The teacher reviews what was done in today’s class by showing students a
captivating video.


1. Teacher observation of students’ responses to questions asked.

2. Students ability to work in pairs to identify the main theme in the West Indian short story
“Backfire” by Shirley Tappin. Citing text from the short story to support responses.


1. If time is limited, the teacher will read the story and students will examine and present one
theme per group.
2. Have alternative explanations and examples for the class if electricity is disconnected and
the teacher cannot use PowerPoint.

FOLLOW UP LESSON: Identifying themes in another genre (poetry).