Topic: Symbolism
Level: Intermediate/Advanced, middle school - adult ESL
Students will be able to ...
  • Recognize and use vocabulary related to symbolism.
  • Understand and explain how imagery represents meaning, thus building visual literacy.
  • Apply reading strategies (scan, infer, use context clues) to interpret online texts.
  • Identify main ideas and supporting details of online texts.
  • Select images to represent concepts and convey meaning through information presented in the form of a visual element.
  • Compose a well-organized, coherent paragraph demonstrating appropriate sentence variety and employing newly-learned vocabulary.
  • Modify content, organization, grammar, and mechanics in writing based on feedback. 

Task 1
Activity: View slideshow with examples of symbolism and definition.  Complete Task 1 activity on Symbolism handout and do homework, explained on last slide.
Symbol   What it means


Task 2 
View image of state seal and then watch video that describes symbolic meanings of images on California state seal.  Complete Task 2 activity, graphic organizer, on Symbolism handout.

Seal of the State of California

California State Seal

 Image What it symbolizes
  Greek Goddess of wisdom and war
  official state animal
  wine production
 sheaves of greenery and grape vine 
 gold mine 
 "Eureka!" = Greek word for "I have found it!" 
  one year before California joined the union
 31 stars 

Task 3 
URL (alternative for non-Flash devices
Learn four or more words that are synonyms for the verb "symbolize."  Using the visual thesaurus, enter the word "symbolize," and write a minimum of four verbs that are provided as synonyms on the Symbolism handout, Task 3.  Make sure to write only the verbs.

Task 4
Complete the pre-reading prediction questions on the Symbolism handout, Task 4.  Read the online article about the Great Seal of the United States. Check accuracy of prediction questions.  Paste URL for article into VoyCabulary site to re-read the article with vocabulary support (double-click on words in the text you do not understand in order to see a definition) or use an online learners dictionary to enter words you do not know and see definitions. Complete Task 4 by answering the comprehension questions on the Symbolism handout, Task 4.  

Task 5
Create a personal seal using PowerPoint, Photoshop, Paint, or other software or Web site.  See Symbolism Unit handout for more information.

Task 6
Write a paragraph explaining how the symbols on your personal seal represent who you are.  
Brainstorm and list ideas:

 Something about Me Image to Use to Symbolize this Information

See Symbolism Unit handout for sample paragraph, paragraph criteria, and first draft outline.  The paragraph will be Word-processed (MS Word, Google Docs, or other) and submitted and returned to students via the dropbox (Messages) of the LMS (Blackboard).

Task 7
Review and practice grammar relevant for this paragraph, subject-verb agreement.  View the PowerPoint slideshow "Subject-Verb Agreement" at the first URL listed. Then open the second URL, scroll down, and under "Subject-Verb Agreement, do any three of the five exercises listed.
Then, take the short ungraded quiz at the final URL.

Task 8
Self-evaluate or engage in peer review (as assigned by the instructor) using this fillable form. Download the form, complete, save, and send to the student whose paragraph was reviewed through the dropbox (Messages) of the LMS (Blackboard).
Instructor feedback will be provided in the form of text comments on the document and/or spoken comments recorded with Jing or TechSmith Relay.  
Refer to the editing marks to revise mechanics (spelling, grammar, punctuation, etc.).
Based on feedback,  revise your paragraph. Summative evaluation of paragraphs will be conducted using the following rubric:

Task 9
Make an in-class oral presentation to introduce yourself to your classmates using your personal seal as a visual aide and your paragraph as the basis for what you will say.  Feedback on presentations will be provided using a simple checklist.

Task 10
Post your paragraph and personal seal on your wiki page on the class wiki.  Post comments to at least three classmates' pages.  Reflect on your work for this unit.  Provide feedback on the instruction and evaluate your learning and future needs by completing the online questionnaire.

Symbolism Unit Reflection