One of the really cool things we do at Charter High School is we choose a school-wide theme to work with during the year.  Generally, it’s something that’s started in the English classrooms and works its way through to the theatre production and music classes.

This year, for example, we chose “coming of age” as our theme.  I made nearly all of my book selections based on that idea, and the entire school read Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, which was discussed and analyzed in the English classes early in the year.  Later, the scriptwriting classes worked with it, putting together an original play.  After that, the stagecraft, acting, theatre production and puppetry classes took over to put on a really great show.

It’s about time to choose a theme for next year, and I’m at a loss.  Any ideas you guys can through at me would be greatly appreciated.  So far, I’ve come up with “friendship, family, and identity,” “war, politics, and diplomacy,” “Classics; stories we tell over and over,” “medicine, science, and technology,” “magic, faith, and fantasy,” and “The Journey; going away to come home.”  I’m circling around the ideas of  “duty and loyalty,” and I feel like I can make something work with “rights and responsibilities,” but I haven’t quite got there yet.

Which idea would you vote for as next year’s theme?



Filed under Questions

8 responses to “Themes

  1. I would change Journey to Quest and not give it a subtitle at all. Plenty to work with and it encompasses a lot of your other possibilities (identity, faith, family, war, diplomacy, duty, loyalty, rights, responsibilities). You can start with Greek Myth and go on from that.

  2. M

    With my seniors I always come back to the idea of Joseph Campbell’s 12 Steps of the Hero’s Journey and how those steps can be seen in every piece of literature we read, also in the films they see outside of class.

    Also, I love the idea of “stories we tell over and over”, because, again, it addresses the universality of literature v. pop culture.

  3. Zee

    I’m toying with the idea of using “society” as my theme for next year. I’m planing on reading dystopian novels and to do projects around building societies.

  4. Given all that has happened this year or so (earthquakes, tsunami, floods, tornadoes) I would vote for ‘Survival’ as a theme.

  5. Darci

    I love the idea of Stories that are told again and again. Start with myths and find a similar thread in all that you present ie: Oedipus complex, Hero worship, Deus ex machina and so on.

  6. For adolescents, I really like the “rights and responsibilities” concept, with something about PRIVILEGES added to it.

  7. How about something like “hurt and healing”? Or, something we’ve been talking about at my school a lot this year (though not intentionally as a school-wide theme), “living your story” – the idea that each of our lives is its own story, just as much as _Great Expectations_ is Pip’s story, or _Fiddler on the Roof_ is Tevye’s story.

  8. Bob

    I like Journey without anything else added to the title. Kizz has a good idea as well so I can second that. With Quest, I can integrate my gaming units into classes:-)

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