"The Blue Bead" by Norah Burke

Lesson plan
for "The Blue Bead" by Norah Burke could be an enriching experience for students, focusing on various aspects such as comprehension, analysis, critical thinking, and creativity.

Title: Exploring Themes and Symbolism in "The Blue Bead" by Norah Burke


  • Students will demonstrate an understanding of the themes and symbolism present in "The Blue Bead" by Norah Burke.
  • Students will analyze character motivations and actions within the story.
  • Students will engage in creative expression by writing a reflective response or crafting alternative endings.

Materials Needed:

  • Copies of "The Blue Bead" by Norah Burke
  • Whiteboard and markers
  • Handouts with discussion questions and writing prompts
  • Art supplies (optional for creative expression activity)


Introduction (15 minutes):

  1. Begin by introducing the author, Norah Burke, and providing some background information about her and the historical context of the story.
  2. Engage students with a brief discussion about the significance of storytelling in various cultures.
  3. Present the title and cover of the story, asking students to make predictions about its content based on these visual cues.

Reading and Comprehension (20 minutes):

  1. Distribute copies of "The Blue Bead" to students and give them time to read the story silently.
  2. Encourage active reading by asking students to annotate important passages, unfamiliar words, or symbols they encounter.
  3. After reading, facilitate a brief discussion to ensure comprehension. Clarify any confusing parts and ask students to summarize the main events and characters.

Analysis and Discussion (25 minutes):

  1. Lead a discussion on the themes and symbolism present in the story. Possible topics include:
    • The significance of the blue bead and its symbolism.
    • Themes of friendship, trust, betrayal, and redemption.
  2. Use open-ended questions to encourage critical thinking and deeper analysis. For example:
    • How does the blue bead serve as a symbol throughout the story?
    • In what ways do the characters' actions reflect their cultural backgrounds?

Creative Expression (30 minutes):

  1. Invite students to express their understanding of the story creatively. Options include:
    • Writing a reflective response exploring a theme or character.
    • Crafting an alternative ending or continuation of the story.
    • Creating artwork inspired by a scene or symbol in the story.
  2. Allow students to work individually or in small groups, providing them with the necessary materials and guidance as needed.
  3. Encourage students to share their creations with the class and explain the choices they made.

Conclusion (10 minutes):

  1. Wrap up the lesson by summarizing key points discussed during the analysis and creative expression activities.
  2. Reiterate the importance of understanding cultural differences and the power of storytelling in conveying universal themes.
  3. Assign any homework or extension activities, such as writing a journal entry from a character's perspective or researching traditional storytelling practices in different cultures.


  • Participation in class discussions and activities
  • Quality of annotations and contributions to comprehension questions
  • Creativity and depth of reflection demonstrated in the creative expression activity

By structuring the lesson in this way, students will not only engage with the text on a deeper level but also have the opportunity to express their own interpretations and creativity.

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