Alyssa Andrus' MindMeister: Mapping out Themes in Lord of the Flies


Date: March 1, 2010 Grade and Class Level: English 11, Juniors

Title/Subject of Lesson: Mapping Out Themes: Lord of the Flies

Objective: Students will be able to collaboratively brainstorm ideas about the novel’s themes through learning the technology of Mindmeister. Students will be able to pull from this website information from their peers to help formulate their own thesis for an upcoming essay. Students will be able to create their own map and be able to share ideas through Mindmeister with their peers.
State Core Curriculum Standard(s): Standard 1, Objective 3, A
(Analyzing literary elements across genres): Compare recurring and universal themes in literary works.
Concepts to Be Taught: application of theme, connections throughout the novel, text-to-world connections, technology skills, personal reflection/opinion, close reading, analysis of peer review, ability to navigate the site/leave comments

Materials Needed: novel, access to computer, a Mindmeister account/login

Strategies to Be Used: collaborative communication via the web, teaching a new technology skill, personal reaction/opinion


Announcements: Essay topics are due by Friday at 3:00.
Reading response journals will be collected Wednesday.

Continuation from Previous Lesson: We are continuing to examine different literary techniques and skills through the novel. After discussing symbolism and archetype, we are now going to move on to discuss theme, and its role in the story.

Lesson Presentation:
A) Getting Started: Lets go over the definition of “theme” in the back of our Literature books.

· Can someone break this down for us? Have two more students give examples.
· We have discussed some of the themes that are prevalent in the novel. Can we come up with some examples? (Write them on the board; have students comment about them; which are the most important, etc.)
B) Directing the Learning: Because we all have different opinions about these main themes and want to be able to see them all, we are going to be implementing a new technology into our class.

· Divide the class into 8 groups. Each will be assigned a different theme to be in charge of. While they will all be asked to contribute to each theme by providing textual evidence of their opinion, they are only required to comment on their assigned theme.
· Explain that they will be brainstorming with each other over the Mindmeister program.
· Pull up the projector and show them the website.
· Give instructions how to make comments/start their own mind map.
· Show all of the different gadgets, how to use them, leave comments, etc.
· Any questions?
· Go to the computer lab and assist them in setting up their accounts, beginning to create their map, looking at my map, etc.
C) Concluding the Lesson:

· Give students the assignment and rubric. They are to go to the map that I have created through a link on the class website. After fulfilling the assignment they are to create one of their own and share it with their group members.
· On Monday we will see each group’s responses to their theme.
· Each day we will look also at 5 different student’s maps of characters.

Assignment/Skill: Assignment information is posted in the map itself on Mindmeister. But, a hard copy will be given to the students as well. The assignment will appear as the following:

Help complete the Mindmeister map by giving a textual example for each of the themes provided. Then respond and comment on your group’s individual theme. (Look at the example questions to help guide your answer.) Then with the Mindmeister program create your own map discussing the characters of the novel, how they interact with each other, the themes, what they represent, etc. Invite members of your group to view your map. Leave at least 2 comments/thoughts on your group member’s maps as well. You will be graded out of 50 points. The grading rubric will be attached to the theme map.


Here's an example of what the finished map may be like:
Example LOTF Map
Here is a rubric that you could use to assess their use of the technology
Example Rubric