Lesson Plan: Theme in “All Summer in a Day” by Ray Bradbury

Summer vacation never gets old. Never. Even after nearly 20 years of teaching, I feel a wave of joy as the end of the school year approaches. And then one year, they changed the school calendar so the school year started two weeks sooner than normal. I felt like those kids in “All Summer in a Day” by Ray Bradbury.

All Summer in a Day Theme Lesson Plan

These “All Summer in a Day” lesson plans are ready to use. All you need is a printer and a copy machine. There’s no additional prep and you will be set for the week. The “All Summer in a Day” unit plan contains lesson plans, graphic organizer handouts with answer keys, essay rubrics, a summary and analysis of the story, discussion ideas, a quiz, and more. Lessons focus on symbolism, theme, conflict, setting, imagery, characterization, literary analysis, and more.

“All Summer in a Day” Theme Lesson Plan

Before I continue with this riveting blog post and the hardship of only getting a 9-week break from work instead of an 11-week break from work like every other profession, I’ll just give you what you came here for: “All Summer in a Day ” Theme Lesson Plan

If you prefer to go in to more depth when you teach short stories, check out the “All Summer in a Day” unit plan to the right.

Notes on Theme

Students should be familiar with the following information in order for your “All Summer in a Day” theme lesson plan to be effective:

  • Theme is the central idea or message in a literary work. It is an observation about human life.
  • Themes are rarely stated directly. They must be inferred.
  • The theme is revealed by the way characters change in a story, conflicts in the story, and statements made by the narrator or characters.
  • Understanding theme involves understanding plot, characters, and setting.

Strategies for Teaching Theme

Discuss plot by analyzing cause and effect and identifying major and minor conflicts.

Example: The continuous rain makes the children anxious for the sun.

Analyze character motivation by noting which characters are dynamic and which ones are static. Look for evidence regarding character motives. Evaluate the character’s personality.

Example: The children in the class hate Margot because she is different. They lock her in a closet.

Visualize setting by evaluating what effect the setting has on the characters and on the mood of the story.

Example: The miserable conditions on Venus lead to all sorts of neurotic behavior.

“All Summer in a Day” Analysis

Understanding theme in “All Summer in a Day” requires an analysis of other aspects of the story.

An “All Summer in a Day” analysis produces the following discussion topics and observations:

  • Alienation. This is quite the depressing story. The children alienate Margot because she’s different. Might be a good time for an anti-bullying lesson.
  • Figurative Language. Bradbury describes the sun and the rain in many ways.
  • Setting. Bradbury is the master of science fiction settings.
  • Imagery. Bradbury loves figurative language. He’s a master of sensory details.
  • Symbolism. The sun changes the children from emotionless poop heads to emotionally more mature children who experience joy, and then remorse.
  • Theme. Understanding deeper meanings associated with the sun help understand the story’s theme. In addition, the treatment of Margot provides an opportunity to discuss critical issues such as bullying and other topics involving outsiders. You may want to note that in addition to scarring Margot for life, the children’s brutish behavior has tarnished what should have been one of the greatest moments of their childhood.
  • Characters. The change in the bullies plays an important role in understanding the story’s theme. The “All Summer in a Day” unit plan contains a great character motivation lesson plan that brings out the story’s themes.


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