Grade: Senior
Subject: Literature

#848. Symbolism and Aphorisms

Literature, level: Senior
Posted Wed Feb 10 14:09:24 PST 1999 by Gwen S. Price (
Auburn High School, Auburn, Alabama
Materials Required: White poster board cut into 2"x7" strips; markers, colored pencils, crayons of all colors
Activity Time: 45-50 minutes
Concepts Taught: Symbolism and words to live by; imaginative creation and application of knowledge of literary symbol

I use this lesson in conjunction with To Kill a Mockingbird in my 11th grade American Literature class. We discuss the characters and the importance of symbols in all literature. I also have a literary symbols crossword puzzle that I have the students complete as we discuss the common symbols used by authors. We then apply our knowledge of literary symbols and see if we can come up with symbols that represent us. I distribute the 2x7 pieces of white poster board, and give the students there instructions as follows: You are creating your own personal bookmark. This will be the only one like it in existence. You will represent yourself by using colors and symbols that best illustrate your personality, hobbies, and interests. On one side, include colors, symbols, patterns, and images, but no words. On the other side, use colors, symbols, patterns, images, and a quote that illustrates what you try to live by. (I do this to force them to identify their values - something that is extremely important in TKAM, but also because we are discussing Ben Franklin's "Poor Richard's Almanac" simultaneously). The students enjoy being creative and learn tons about literary symbols. Hope it works for you!!!