Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • RL:  Reading Standards for Literature 6-12
  • 9-10:  9th & 10th Grades
  • 1: 
    Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text
    says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)


Common core State Standards

  • ELA:  English Language Arts
  • RL:  Reading Standards for Literature 6-12
  • 9-10:  9th & 10th Grades
  • 2: 
    Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its
    development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is
    shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

Download Common Core State Standards (PDF 1.2 MB)

Analyzing Texts with Storyboards
Lesson Objective: Analyze a text from the perspective of a reality TV producer
Grades 9-12 / ELA / Theme
ELA.RL.9-10.1 | ELA.RL.9-10.2

Thought starters

  1. How does Ms. Wessling communicate learning goals to her students?
  2. What are the benefits of using the graphic organizer?
  3. How does this activity encourage students to think deeply about the text?

I think this assignment really kills many birds with one stone. It has real-world application, practices analytical thinking, understands of theme, and use of evidence to support ideas. In carrying out these skills, students are developing a deeper connection to the true, underlying story. I love how Sarah took literature and created a modern-day learning experience for her students. 

Recommended (0)
Your cc paint buckets are great. I love that through this activity the students are able to self-assess and reflect on their thinking to move past their own "generic statements," and you also do great work to help them through struggling with the texts but ultimately increasing their insight.
Recommended (0)
Is this an assignment they work on as they read, or is this something done after they finish the novel?
Recommended (0)
Hello,Where is the body drawn on freeze paper activity found? Analyzing complex text for high school?
Recommended (0)
I love the way you used the storyboard to help students understand how to determine the theme of the text and how to support their understanding of the theme. Do you think this technique be used with informative text, in determining the central idea?
Recommended (0)


  • Analyzing Texts with Storyboards Transcript

    Speaker 1: Okay, so on our desks we have Hunger Games.

    Today's Tenth grade English class was

    Analyzing Texts with Storyboards Transcript

    Speaker 1: Okay, so on our desks we have Hunger Games.

    Today's Tenth grade English class was about digging into The Hunger Games from the perspective of a reality TV show producer.

    Speaker 2: We're going to show it opposite sides of the people and how people are betraying each other.

    Speaker 1: Which is not only a theme in The Hunger Games, but it's also a great way to kind of construct an opportunity for students to think about details in the text, applying them to concepts that we've been using to talk about the text and then to think about how stories are manipulated and constructed.

    Here we go. It's not just like a collage.

    There are very few students who have seen or read The Hunger Games and have really contemplated what's going on underneath it. They know the story, they know the plot line.

    Speaker 3: I was just trying to quote that.

    Speaker 4: What page is that, do you remember?

    Speaker 3: Oh, here's why.

    Speaker 1: Taking away the obligation of just figuring out what happened allows us to focus all of our energy then on teaching them how to analyze. and teaching them how to read for what's underneath it.

    Say what your message is so that each time you choose a moment you're connecting back to that big message. Okay?

    Did you happen to see these paint buckets up on the wall?

    Speaker 5: Mm-hmm.

    Speaker 1: Yeah.

    The lesson started with us looking, first of all, at the common core buckets. When we talk about what we want to learn in class each day I'm going to pull out the stick from each of these buckets so that you know every single day what it is that I want you to leave classroom learning.

    So today these are the three things that your brains are going to have to do: your brains are going to have to use logic, they're going to have to close read, and you're going to have to determine themes or concepts.

    From there I gave them the challenge of being a reality TV show producer.

    What I just handed out to you is your challenge for today. You need to create a teaser, you know, maybe thirty seconds or something that you would see to convey a very specific message.

    I have seven messages. I'm going to have your group come and choose a card, and your challenge is going to be to figure out what moments from the books so far would you pull out in order to convey that message.

    So let's take a look here at what you're going to do actually on these storyboards. In the blank box, explain what people would see. But then you also need to have some text that goes with it. So that's either going to be dialogue or it's going to be lines from the actual book. I want to know how these words and that image that you've chosen helps convey the message that your table is challenged to convey.

    Can you talk to me a little bit about the message that you're trying to convey?

    Speaker 6: Hunger's bad.

    Speaker 1: Hunger's bad?

    Speaker 7: It's kind of a generic statement.

    Speaker 1: Okay, so who's this message to? Who's your audience?

    Speaker 6: The Capitol.

    Speaker 7: The Capitol.

    Speaker 8: The Capitol ignores basic law.

    Speaker 1: So it's the hungry districts to the not hungry districts.

    Speaker 7: Yes.

    Speaker 6: Exactly.

    Speaker 1: And what is it that the hungry districts want to tell the not hungry districts?

    Speaker 7: That they're starving. They don't have food.

    Speaker 1: So you mentioned bread and hope.

    Speaker 6: Mm-hmm.

    Speaker 1: How does that figure in to hunger?

    Speaker 6: Well, so bread is giving them food and allowing them to live and that - which is hope for them, basically.

    Speaker 1: That's kind of interesting. It's pretty deep, actually. That is way different then where you started when you said hunger is bad.

    As they reread this text and they realize there's something else going on in it, it lets them know that this is one of those reading dispositions. This is what readers do, they see these layers of meaning in a text.

    Speaker 9: Can't you say this part?

    Speaker 10: Where Caesar says, "Do you like silk?"

    Speaker 1: When we then transfer this to those more traditional tenth grade texts, I don't have to try to convince them that there's something else going on because they know this is what authors do.

    What's the perspective you want to tell?

    Speaker 11: The Capitol putting fear.

    Speaker 1: All right, that works. That works. You'd have like an actual - something actually from the book. Okay?

    Speaker 11: The odds are never in your favor, can we put that because it's from the Reaping?

    Speaker 1: Why would you put that?

    Speaker 12: That instills fear in people.

    Speaker 13: Controlling the fear inside of the...

    Speaker 1: How does it instill fear?


    Speaker 11: Because they know the odds probably are not in their favor.

    Speaker 1: There you go, your have your own answer.

    So first of all, what is it that you want to convey about robotic obedience?

    Speaker 12: How the Capitol controls them and the people just let them.

    Speaker 1: What would you want them to understand about robotic obedience?

    I love asking students questions. I love hearing where they're struggling. I love it when they have these moments of success.

    Can you tell me about the plan?

    One of my favorite moments was I went to this group, there were two girls and a boy, and they were talking and explaining what they were doing, and I was sitting right beside him and I saw that he was the only one who had written on his paper this thing about rich versus poor. I asked him I said, "What is that all about?"

    Speaker 14: The rich were trained on how to survive, but the poor have to survive to live their entire lives.

    Speaker 1: Did you talk about that?

    Speaker 14: No.

    Speaker 1: You just wrote that down but didn't share it?

    He and the rest of the group realized they hadn't talked about this really amazing insight that he had.

    How would that influence your message?

    Speaker 15: It's if they don't know how to fight for their lives so it would be easier to kill them.

    Speaker 16: Yeah.

    Speaker 1: When I go around to groups like that, I think that's one of the most important things that I can do: it's to make observations about where they're at in their process and then help them figure out how to use those to further their own thinking.

    Tell me how did the scenes that you selected persuade the people in the Capitol to watch The Hunger Games?

    Speaker 17: Betrayal brings drama. People like watching drama. They want to see people going against each other.

    Speaker 1: One of the things that I noticed I thought was especially powerful was this one group that I talked to kind of towards the end of class, and they had come up with this really great idea. Then I asked them about their original concept.

    How are you connecting that they're playing the game?

    Speaker 18: Well, I guess people play the game...

    Speaker 1: Did you forget about that part?

    And they looked at each other and they said, "Oh no, we forgot." And then another kid jumped in and said, "But now we need to put that idea back in there."

    Speaker 19: You kind of have to be two-faced in the game. Wouldn't the two-faced part be where he says he likes Katniss but then goes back and wants to kill her or whatever?

    Speaker 1: That's self-monitoring. I didn't tell them that, I just said, "What happened to the concept?" And they realized what they had done in their thinking and constructing process.

    Speaker 19: You can do where Peeta confesses his feelings.

    Speaker 1: In today's lesson they were building something and in doing that their takeaway was figuring out how to maneuver details of a text in a way that situates them as writing their own narrative about it.

    Give me a thumbs up if you know that you spent some time trying to think logically about something. Determining themes or concepts, did you talk about words that you can't touch, Okay? Did you have to use some moments when you had read closely in the text in order to do this? Yes. Perfect.

School Details

Johnston Senior High School
6501 Nw 62nd Ave
Johnston IA 50131
Population: 1541

Data Provided By:



Sarah Brown Wessling


TCH Special

Grades 6-12, All Subjects, Civic Engagement

TCH Special

Grades 6-12, All Subjects, Civic Engagement

TCH Special

Grades 6-12, All Subjects, Civic Engagement

Teaching Practice

All Grades / All Subjects / Collaboration


Social Justice & Equity


Professional Learning


Professional Learning