Lesson Plan

Call of the Wild: Theme Analysis

This project allows students to analyze the themes in Call of the Wild in a real, engaging way.
Krista B.
Classroom teacher
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My Grades 7
My Subjects English Language Arts

Students will be able to... analyze and rank the themes in Call of the Wild in an argument presentation using a digital story format.

English Language Arts
Grades 6 – 9
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Introducing Digital Stories

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Start this when you have finished the novel.  Also note that students have already learned about theme through a mini-theme unit earlier in the year.  As a class, we have also been discussing theme throughout reading Call of the Wild.  Students already have a lot of background on theme for this novel.

1.  Tell your students that they will be using an app, Adobe Voice, to tell a digital story about what they learned about theme in Call of the Wild.  

2. Show them what a digital story is by watching examples. While watching the examples, have students take notes of the following:

  1. What do you see in a digital story?
  2. What do you notice about the components of a digital story?
  3. If you were going to explain what a digital story is to someone who has never seen one before, how would you describe it to them.

3. Create a blank Google form to record notes.  After the students have shared in their groups what noticed in the digital story examples, have them share whole class.  While students are sharing, record their responses in the Google form.  Share this Google doc with the entire class so they can use it as a resource while working on their own digital story.

4.  Ask students to think about the benefits of creating a digital story rather than writing an essay.  What are the benefits of the digital story?  How does the use of technology enrich the learning and their presentation of knowledge?

2 Theme Analysis/Storyboards

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Students will not begin the theme analysis, essentially creating the storyboard that they will use to create their digital story.

  1. Create and share a graphic organizer on Google docs that students will use to analyze theme.  The purpose of the graphic organizer is to help the students organize their thinking and conduct the theme analysis. Students should be addressing the following areas:
    1. Identify 3 themes in Call of the Wild.
    2. How did Jack London develop that theme in the novel?  Think about the major conflicts and problems in the novel and how the conflicts were resolved.
    3. What textual evidence supports the theme?
    4. What theme do you think is the strongest in the novel. Weakest? Why did you rank them that way? 
    5. What images or pictures could you use to illustrate the themes?

Make sure students know that this is the only day they will have for the planning on their digital story.  If they don't finish in class they can finish at home.  


3 Recording and Making of Digital Story

Preparation: Check that all of the iPads have the Adobe Voice app downloaded.  Note that this app only works on iPads.  Also, create a class Adobe Account so that students can save the videos to the account.  Make sure students have the class log in info so that when they finish recording, the video can be saved and published.

Directions Before Recording: Show students the basics of the app.  Students will use their own voice to narrate and record their digital story.  Students are using the graphic organizer as the script to record their story. They will need to incorporate images, using the icons and images already in the app's collection.  Students also have the option to play with the layout of the story and the theme (colors, fonts, etc).  

Students will need a quiet place to record their voice.  The iPad will pick up on any loud background noise. 


4 Sharing and Reflection

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Students will now share their digital stories with each other.  You can do this in different ways.  My students sit at tables, so I have them share their story with each person at their table.  If you have Apple TV in your classroom, you can have some student volunteers mirror their iPad to the Apple TV so that the whole class can watch.

Final Reflection: Create a Google form for your classes for them to reflect on the process.  Questions to think about include:

  1. What did you like about this project?
  2. What challenges did you encounter?
  3. Did you find using the technology easier or harder than writing an essay/paper?
  4. What suggestions do you have to make this process easier for next time?