Variations on a Theme

Activity Steps:

Either in writing or in pictures, portray a theme or event in your life as it has occurred on at least three different occasions.

1. Brainstorm:
As a class, brainstorm a list of themes that run through your lives, such as family gatherings, holidays, sporting events, and friends. Then, in your journal, write down a list of themes that are specific to your life. You might have things on your list that no one else has.
2. Analyze:
Choose one of your themes and explore in writing how differences in time and circumstance affect how you feel about it. For example: Is there a particular family gathering that has seemed to change as you have grown older? Did your role in it change? Did its meaning or significance change?
3. Create:
Either in writing or in pictures, portray your theme as it has occurred on at least three different occasions. For example, in one painting Joan Brown portrayed the pleasures of swimming, and in another she showed herself sitting at home, thinking about a dangerous swimming incident. The works illustrate different aspects of her relationship to swimming.
4. Present and reflect:
Show your work to the class. Do you notice common themes running through your classmates' work? Reflect in your journal about why that might be. How has each person taken a broad theme and made it personal?